Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MLA Claire Trevena (File photo)

Ministry says no changes being considered to Victoria transit legislation or appointments for now

Mayor previously said he’s ‘frustrated’ that View Royal has never had a seat on the board

After over two years and multiple letters sent, a reply from the Minister of Transportation (MoT) addressed to View Royal Mayor David Screech stated there are no plans to change the composition of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC) or to tweak the BC Transit Act.

“At this time…adjustments to the composition of the VRTC and subsequent changes to the BC Transit Act are not being considered,” Minister Claire Trevena wrote in a signed letter received by council Tuesday.

Screech previously said he’s “frustrated” that View Royal has never had a seat in the transit board that has the power to set regional routes and tax rates.

RELATED: Mayors seek change to regional transit commission appointment process

Section 15 of the BC Transit Act states that, of the seven members of the commission, one appointment must be either the mayor of Sidney, North Saanich or Central Saanich.

Another appointment can be one of five West Shore mayors (Colwood, Metchosin, View Royal, Langford and Highlands), the mayor of Sooke or the “electoral area director of the Juan de Fuca electoral area.”

The Mayor of Sooke and Colwood have held the position for several years and swapped seats during various years.

Mayor Ryan Windsor of Central Saanich said adjustments to the makeup of the VRTC are now overdue. Central Saanich’s mayor held a seat in the commission between 2008-2011 and Sidney’s from 2011-2014. By contrast, the Mayor of North Saanich has been appointed to the seat from 2014-2019.

While he said he had confidence in the Mayor of North Saanich, “Our understanding is that it rotated…for some reason they changed that, and there was no explanation,” he added.

An email addressed from the Ministry addressed to Black Press previously stated that members are not appointed “on a rotational basis.”

RELATED: View Royal Mayor calls on province to change Victoria Transit Commission statute on appointments

Windsor said he’d like to see route adjustments on transit routes for his jurisdiction gain traction with the provincial government, such as having bus service to ferries and the airport as well as to Keating Cross Road as well as to First Nations communities, which aren’t represented by the VRTC or serviced by BC Transit.

Screech similarly stated he’d like to have tabled plans for more regular service for View Royal.

Windsor said he’s puzzled by the lack of clarity on the grounds for appointment and questioned why certain members seem to keep being reelected. “If they’re saying that’s a coincidence that’s very interesting,” he said.

ALSO READ: Colwood and View Royal looking at possibility of rapid transit option

“The legislation says members will be picked from one of the three mayors, so what’s the criteria,” he asked, adding “it could help us meet the criteria.”

“If the government is interested in openness and transparency… it’s not very transparent.”

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure couldn’t immediately provide a spokesperson for this story.

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Change room thief nabbed by West Shore RCMP Bike Unit

Quick-thinking caller leads police to suspect after witnessing theft

Victoria Shamrocks win proves costly

Shamrocks lose Rhys Duch to a season-ending injury

PHOTOS: Car Free YYJ entertains the masses in Victoria

Third annual fair where cars are banned goes off without a hitch

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

Province comes through with funding for Charleigh Fales

Lake Cowichan toddler only one in B.C. diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Most Read