Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Minister Tells Troubled TransLink to 'Do Better Job' with Taxpayers' Money

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Minister Tells Troubled TransLink to 'Do Better Job' with Taxpayers' Money

Article excerpt

TransLink executives out after voters say No

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VANCOUVER - Two top managers with Metro Vancouver's transit authority are out, and the acting chief executive will be replaced following a failed transit plebiscite.

TransLink said Tuesday that bosses Doug Kelsey and Bob Paddon had been removed. When interim CEO Doug Allen's contract ends August 10, CFO Cathy McLay will take over until a permanent replacement is hired.

The troubled authority said Mike Richard had replaced Kelsey as acting president of B.C. Rapid Transit, while Paddon's position as executive vice-president of planning had been eliminated.

"Since 2011, staffing costs across the TransLink enterprise have been significantly reduced though downsizing at the management and executive level and the subsequent elimination of positions," TransLink said in a statement.

The changes come just weeks after 62 per cent of Metro Vancouver voters said No to a half-per-cent sales tax hike to fund $7.5 billion in transportation upgrades.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said the province was not involved in personnel decisions but repeated Premier Christy Clark's call for more accountability at TransLink.

"The premier, I thought, was very clear. She went so far as to say not only did people say No to the sales tax, but they said No to any new taxes to go to an organization that people don't trust," he said.

"We expect TransLink, moving forward, to do a better job at how they use taxpayer dollars."

TransLink refused interview requests Tuesday.

But George Heyman, transportation critic for the Opposition New Democrats, said the province is to blame for the transit authority's lack of accountability. …

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