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Dr. David Suzuki and Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation will take part in a telephone town hall on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 to answer questions about the upcoming Metro Vancouver transit referendum. The call will take place between 7:00 and 8:00 PM and give voters across the region an opportunity to get more information before they vote on the future of the region.

"Voting Yes is the single biggest thing we can do to fight climate change in our region," said Dr. Suzuki. "We all get dramatically better transit and transportation options. Less congestion and pollution, healthier communities and faster commutes — especially if you live south of the Fraser."

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Beginning March 16 voters will receive a mail-in ballot asking them to vote Yes or No on a 0.5 per cent increase to PST within Metro Vancouver to fund dramatic transit and transportation improvements for the region. The projects detailed on the ballot were developed by the region's 24 mayors and are expected to cut congestion by 20 per cent even as one million new residents move to Metro Vancouver by 2040.

A YES vote would result in the addition of 400 new buses, a millennium line SkyTrain extension from VCC Clark to Arbutus, 27 km of light rail throughout Surrey and Langley, a new Pattullo Bridge, a 50 per cent increase Seabus service, and 11 new B-line express bus routes to the region's transit system. South of Fraser communities would receive the bulk (approximately 45 per cent) of the transportation improvements. Should a positive outcome result from the plebiscite, every dollar invested would be audited by an independent panel headed by business leader Jimmy Pattison.

"This is a great plan that will do a lot to protect our environment and our quality of life as our region adds one million new residents," said Peter Robinson. "The projects in the Mayors' plan will reduce the number of cars on the road and renowned businessman Jim Pattison is leading a team of auditors to make sure every dollar is spent on these specific improvements."

The environmental implications of the Mayors' Council plan are significant. In the short-term, fewer cars on the road will mean less pollution and fewer harmful chemicals in the air; over the long-term reduced greenhouse gas emissions means lessening our region's impact on the climate change and showing global leadership.

"If we want to build a sustainable, livable region this is the way to do it," said Robinson. "Having a measurable impact on climate change is rarely as easy as ticking a box on a ballot."

Residents wanting to take part in the discussion can watch online or call 1-877-229-8493 and enter event code 113586 beginning at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

For more information about the Mayors' Council plan and to pledge to vote Yes visit www.BetterTransit.info

For more information

Theresa Beer
David Suzuki Foundation
778-874-3396

Steve Kux
David Suzuki Foundation
604-374-4102

March 10, 2015
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2015/03/david-suzuki-in-tonights-telephone-town-hall-discussing-why-the-environment-matt/

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