In a secret-ballot vote by mayors in the region, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has defeated Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for chair of the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council.
Beginning in 2018, Corrigan will take his position leading the group and its 10-Year Vision. Meanwhile, District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton will also replace Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, who decided against running for re-election.
The change in leadership comes at a time when many transportation projects in the works that have not yet been approved by the provincial government, including: the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge and rapid transit in Surrey and Langley.
In the past, Corrigan has also been critical of the transit plan’s heavy focus on the two biggest regions of Surrey and Vancouver – which he said isolates smaler communities.
After three consecutive one-year terms as vice-chair of the Mayors’ Council, Hepner said she “thought long and hard” about not seeking re-election.
“I will focus my attention on being in my own community,” Hepner said Thursday afternoon. “We have made an enormous amount of progress, we have two brand new governments in the last two years, provincially and federally, and I’m confident of where the work is at.
“The truth is, it’s very difficult from a position as chair or vice-chair to call, on occasion, for a weighted vote,” she added. “This allows me to, when I see an issue that is more important for those South of the Fraser, to call for a weighted vote.”
As for current transit plans?
“I think the mayors’ plan, which have been fully endorsed for a number of years now, is right on the cusp of completion in terms of completion in terms of funding announcements,” she said.