Business interests dominate new TransLink panel
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.)