Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Business interests dominate new TransLink panel

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Richmond Review

No surprises there then.

The panel consists of:

•Graham Clarke, chosen by the province. He is chair of the Vancouver International Airport Authority, governor of the Vancouver Board of Trade and owner of the Clarke Group of Companies.

•Former NDP premier Mike Harcourt, nominated by TransLink directors and Metro Vancouver mayors.

•Hugh Lindsay, chosen by the BC Institute of Chartered Accountants, is president of FMG Financial Mentors Group Inc.

•Dave Park, nominated by the Vancouver Board of Trade and that organization’s chief economist.

•Bob Wilds, nominated by the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council. He is the council’s managing director and is on the board of the Business Council of B.C. and a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade.

The five panelists are to propose 15 qualified candidates, from which a group of area mayors will select nine directors who will form the new TransLink board in January.

[Burnaby Mayor Derek] Corrigan, who has boycotted the process, said he’s “astounded” [former NDP Premier Mike] Harcourt agreed to serve on the screening panel but noted the ex-premier has recently served on the airport and port authority boards.

“He’s rubbed shoulders with those guys for some time,” he said.

Worse he showed in his remarks at the launch of his new book that he has swallowed their justification for new port capacity uncritically. Like many Board members he has come to rely on the advice on the staff of the organization, rather than bringing a fresh outside view to the table, which I think people like him are expected to do. After all while the staff have deep but narrow expertise, he has the broader, if more shallow, view.

Moreover why do the Gateway Council get a seat at the table at all? They are simply a self appointed group of special interests set up to lobby for policies that favour their industry. It’s a bit like inviting the Canadian Petroleum Producers Association to sit on a Board concerned with making recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!

There is no-one there to represent transit users – who provide most of the revenue from their fares and property taxes.  And I doubt you will see any of these upper middle class, white, older males on a B-Line the morning after Labour Day.

(Note: I am also a white, older male, and I will also not be on a bus that morning, so I definitely feel I should be excluded from consideration for the new Board. Thank you.)

Written by Stephen Rees

August 25, 2007 at 10:48 am

One Response

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  1. From the amendments to the GVTA ACt, those persons eligible to be on the screening panel were:

    “eligible individual” means an individual who

    (a) is not an employee, director or officer of the authority or of any of its subsidiaries,

    (b) is not, and has never been, a commissioner or a deputy commissioner,

    (c) does not hold elected public office of any type, and

    (d) is not an employee of the government or of a municipality, regional district, trust council or greater board;”

    The legislation (politically motivated of course) provide for the screening panel appointments as follows:

    “Screening panel

    172 (1) On or before June 30 of each year,

    (a) the minister must appoint one eligible individual,

    (b) the mayors’ council on regional transportation must appoint one eligible individual,

    (c) the council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia must appoint one eligible individual,

    (d) the board of directors of the Vancouver Board of Trade must appoint one eligible individual, and

    (e) the Greater Vancouver Gateway Society must appoint one eligible individual,

    and the persons appointed under this subsection constitute a screening panel for the year in which the appointments are made.”

    The amendments provid ethe following for directors:

    “Conflicts of interest for directors

    183 (1) Subject to subsection (6), a director of the authority who, in any way, directly or indirectly, has

    (a) a significant beneficial interest in a share, stock, bond, debenture or other security of a person who

    (i) owns or manages the operation of one or more commercial passenger vehicles or directly or indirectly has a significant beneficial interest in a person who owns or manages the operation of one or more commercial passenger vehicles,

    (ii) provides, or directly or indirectly has a significant beneficial interest in a person who provides, independent transit services, or

    (iii) provides parking services in the transportation service region or directly or indirectly has a significant beneficial interest in a person who provides parking services in the transportation service region,

    (b) a significant beneficial interest in a device, appliance, machine, article, patent or patented process, or a part of it, that is material to the provision of transportation services in the transportation service region, or

    (c) a significant beneficial interest in

    (i) a contract for the provision of transportation services, including, without limitation, independent transit services, in the transportation service region, or

    (ii) any contract, other than an indemnity referred to in section 189 or a contract of insurance referred to in section 189, to which the authority or a subsidiary is a party,

    must disclose the nature and extent of the interest.

    (2) The disclosure required of a director of the authority under subsection (1) must be made

    (a) promptly after he or she becomes aware that he or she has an interest under subsection (1), and

    (b) by a record

    (i) the original of which is deposited in the authority’s head office, and

    (ii) a copy of which is provided to each of the other directors.

    (3) A director of the authority who has an interest described in subsection (1) must,

    (a) if the director has an interest described in subsection (1) (a) or (c) (i),

    (i) immediately after becoming aware of that fact, refrain, until he or she has complied with subparagraph (ii) (A) of this paragraph, from

    (A) exercising any of his or her powers or duties under this Act, including, without limitation, participating in or voting at any meeting of the directors of the authority or of a committee of the directors of the authority,

    (B) communicating to any of the other directors of the authority in relation to the matter in relation to which the interest exists, and

    (C) influencing in any way a decision or action to be made by the authority in relation to the matter in relation to which the interest exists, and

    (ii) promptly after becoming aware of that fact,

    (A) eliminate the circumstances that resulted in him or her having that interest, or

    (B) resign as director of the authority, or

    (b) if the director has an interest described in subsection (1) (b) or (c) (ii), immediately after becoming aware of that fact, refrain from

    (i) participating in or voting at any meeting of the directors of the authority or of a committee of the directors of the authority in relation to the matter in relation to which the interest exists,

    (ii) communicating to any of the other directors of the authority in relation to the matter in relation to which the interest exists, and

    (iii) influencing in any way a decision or action to be made by the authority in relation to the matter in relation to which the interest exists.

    (4) If a director of the authority has an interest described in subsection (1) (a) or (c) (i) and does not comply with subsection (3) (a) (ii) within 3 months after becoming aware of having that interest, the other directors of the authority must remove that director from office.

    (5) The use or purchase in the transportation service region by a director of the authority, for personal or domestic purposes, of parking services or a means of conveyance is not a contravention of this section and does not disqualify the director from acting under this Act.

    (6) A director of the authority who has a beneficial interest in a publicly held mutual fund or pension fund that contains any of the investments referred to in subsection (1) (a) is not, merely because of that interest,

    (a) required to disclose that interest under subsection (1), and

    (b) subject to subsection (3) or (4),

    unless those investments make up more than 30% of the total mutual fund or pension fund holdings.

    (7) Without limiting any provision of this section and despite section 2 (2), section 124 (1) and (2) of the Business Corporations Act applies to the authority.”

    ron c.

    August 27, 2007 at 5:09 pm


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