Sharp Elected

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North Vancouver City Mayor Barbara Sharp was elected vice-chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District just one month after she reversed her vote on a controversial rapid-transit project. On July 30, GVRD directors elected Sharp, chair of the planning and environment committee, in a secret ballot over Richmond Coun. Kiichi Kumagai, chair of the housing committee, and West Vancouver Coun. Victor Durman, chair of the finance committee.

As vice-chair of the GVRD, Sharp collects a $20,000 annual stipend on top of her $66,383 mayoral salary. She replaced North Vancouver District Mayor Don Bell, who stepped down as GVRD vice-chair after he was elected to Parliament on June 28.

Last spring, as a member of the TransLink board, Sharp voted twice against allowing two private-sector consortia to submit final offers to build and operate the Richmond/Airport/Vancouver Rapid Transit Project. After an extensive lobbying campaign by business and labour groups, Sharp introduced a motion at the June 30 TransLink board meeting reversing the earlier decisions and allowing the project to go to a “best and final offer”. Her motion, which capped the public contribution at $1.35 billion, passed by an 8-4 margin.

No GVRD director has suggested publicly that Sharp’s election as vice-chair was connected in any way to her June 30 motion reviving the RAV project.

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