Transit referendum: Port Metro Vancouver joins Yes side

Port Metro Vancouver says it will support the Yes side in the upcoming transit referendum because an enhanced transit system will cut down on congestion and make it easier to move goods.

Port says enhanced transit system will cut congestion and make it easier to move goods.

Port Metro Vancouver says it's supporting the Yes side in the upcoming transit referendum. (CBC)

Port Metro Vancouver is joining the Yes coalition in a bid to convince voters to approve a hike in the provincial sales tax to fund enhanced transit in Metro Vancouver.

Port staff told CBC News that more public transit will cut down on congestion and make it easier to move goods.

Duncan Wilson, Vice President of the Corporate Social Responsibility for Port Metro Vancouver, says the vote is one of the most important decisions facing the region for the next generation.

"With a million new expected residents and increasing trade with Asia, the Lower Mainland is in need of vital investment in transportation infrastructure. This referendum is about supporting local business, ensuring employees can get to work, improving our quality of life and realizing Canada’s trade and economic goals."

Port Metro Vancouver is planning an official announcement of its support of the Yes side in March. (Port Metro Vancouver)

With the Port's support, the Yes side adds a powerful partner to its already extensive list of supporters, which includes labour unions, business groups, cycling advocates and medical health officers.

Ballots will be sent out starting March 16th, with voting concluding on May 29th.

The referendum seeks to approve a 0.5 per cent increase to the provincial sales tax in Metro Vancouver to pay for a ten-year transit plan with a price tag of $8 billion.

The increased sales-tax would provide $250 million a year in revenue.

The Yes side could use a boost as a recent survey shows that currently the No side has more support due to a lack of faith in TransLink.

with files from the CBC's Dan Burritt

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