Mayors turn to Jimmy Pattison to keep TransLink accountable

BCBusiness July 2011 Top 100

The 86-year-old billionaire will head up an “accountability committee” if Yes side wins

The Mayor’s Council has turned to the man who headed up Expo 86 to shore up concerns over TransLink’s accountability. If the “Yes” side wins in the upcoming transit referendum, B.C.’s wealthiest man will head up a public accountability committee to oversee the funds that will be collected via the 0.5 per cent tax. 

“[The people of Metro Vancouver] want assurances that the money collected from the PST increase will go to pay for the improvements needed in the region,” said Gregor Robertson, who chairs the Mayors’ council. “By appointing Mr. Pattison to head up this oversight committee, we are providing voters with a concrete mechanism to monitor and ensure that the funds will be used for the infrastructure they are meant to pay for.”

That oversight committee will include a group of experts, to be selected by Pattison, and will be tasked with establishing a financial review that will “approve and publicize” projected expenditures at the beginning of each fiscal year. The committee will also be tasked with validating that the funds raised are spent “wisely and responsibly.”

In a statement, Pattison kept his reasoning for taking up the role brief: “We need this infrastructure, and the public has a right to transparency and accountability.”