What’s at Stake in Metro Vancouver Transit Vote?


Good jobs and reduced congestion, says recent study by Green Jobs BC and Blue Green Canada

By Blair Redlin

Residents who are waiting to hear the results of the vote on the $7.5 billion, 10-year transit plan proposed by regional mayors may be interested to know the results of our recent economic study for Green Jobs BC and Blue Green Canada.

One of the questions that economist David Fairey and I sought to answer was: ”How many jobs will be generated if the Mayor’s 10 Transit Plan is implemented?” We also asked about the economic impact of better transit and reduced climate stress because of fewer green house gas emissions. Along the way we found some very interesting numbers about congestion as well.

To prepare our report, we reviewed a wide number of documents from January to early March. Our findings on potential jobs and economic impacts that would result from the mayors’ transit plan are based on economic consultant reports commissioned by TransLink.

The deadline for mailing your transit ballot was Friday, May 29, with results expected by mid-to late June.

As it turns out, the number of direct jobs arising from implementing the mayors’ transit plan is significant. Currently, TransLink contributes roughly 6,000 jobs to our economy. Our analysis shows that the mayors’ plan would add another 3,600 direct jobs over the next decade.

By way of comparison, the number of direct jobs in oil and gas extraction last year, according to B.C. Statistics, was 6,200. And that was before the recent drop in oil and gas prices. If the mayors’ plan is implemented, there would be 50 per more jobs in transit by the end of the decade than in extraction of oil and gas.


Economic consulting firm HDR found that the mayors’ plan would also cut the congestion that costs $487 million and enormous amounts of time every year. Maintaining the status quo will result in an additional $1 billion in congestion costs by 2045. By providing a way for more trips without a car, the plan would cut lost time and money by up to four per cent. Investment in new rapid transit lines, additional bus service, and a new Patullo Bridge means getting people out of traffic, giving them more time to spend with family and friends.

Reduces emissions

The plan also means real action on the climate. The effects of climate change are playing out in real time, with everybody from insurance companies to the U.S. Navy preparing for a less stable climate future. British Columbia’s greenhouse gas reduction plan aims to reduce emissions by 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020.

Transportation makes up a third of greenhouse gas emissions in Metro Vancouver, and investments in climate-friendly transit infrastructure are key to meeting these targets. The mayors’ transit plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 8.2 per cent over the status quo, dramatically decreasing our per person use of fossil fuels.

Metro Vancouver has already embraced transit: between 2003 and 2013, the annual number of trips taken on transit increased by almost 90 million. The most recent significant transit investment in our region, the Canada Line, carries more than 122,000 people per day, already surpassing ridership projections for 2021. With a million more people expected in our region by 2045, transit will play an even bigger role in keeping our region moving.

Implementing the mayors’ transit plan would create thousands of good jobs, strengthen the regional economy, significantly cut congestion, and tackle climate change in a meaningful way.

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NOTE:  Balloting closed in the transit and transportation plebiscite on May 29.  Originally published in The Tyee; reprinted with kind permission.

Blair Redlin is a former BC deputy minister of Transportation and former CUPE researcher. He co-authored Good Jobs, Clean Skies with economist David Fairey.

BC Insulators Green Team connects at QUEST conference

QUEST 2014

The BC Insulators trade show Green Team was on hand for the Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow – QUEST – conference and trade show at the Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver from December 1-3..

The event had a series of informative speakers and presenters on District Energy systems and their part in the urban landscape moving forward.

The Vancouver area already has a number of District Energy systems including Central Heat, South East False Creek, the River District, SFU Univercity district, Richmond Olympic Oval area, UBC, proposed Cambie corridor system, and BCIT. These systems are either gas fired, sewage heat recovery or Biomass fuelled.

Bc Insulators made a number of excellent connections at the event including representatives from BOMA -the Building Office Managers Association, Concert Properties, the City of North Vancouver, the University of BC, the University of Northern BC, Comox/Courtenay Regional District, to name a few.

We are now becoming widely recognized at these type of events and our “Green Credibility” is being advanced.

Follow ups are being scheduled with interested groups.

QUEST – Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow, is a collaborative network of stakeholders who are actively working to make Canada a leader in the design, development and implementation of smart energy communities.

Smart energy communities are all about integrating energy across land use, buildings, transportation, waste, water, and related infrastructure.


Green Jobs BC event – Chilliwack – Tuesday May 13 from 7 – 9:15 p.m.

green jobs BC logo

Join leaders of some of BC’s foremost unions and environmental groups to hear about how to create green jobs and build a cleaner, stronger economy in BC at a special event in Chilliwack from 7  to 9:15 p.m.

This Green Jobs BC free event takes place at the Sto:lo Resource Centre, Building 10, 7201 Vedder Road in Chilliwack.

Green Jobs BC event – Gibsons – Saturday April 26 from 2 – 4:30 p.m.

green jobs BC logo

Join leaders of some of BC’s foremost unions and environmental groups to hear about how to create green jobs and build a cleaner, stronger economy in BC at a special event in Gibsons from 2  to 4:30 p.m.

This Green Jobs BC free event co-sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Labour Council takes place at the Kinsmen Hall, 399 Aldersprings Road in Gibsons.


Celebrate Earth Day – Tuesday April 22 – in Vancouver, Surrey and BC!

Earth Day Canada 2014

Earth Day on Tuesday April 22  is the biggest celebration of the year about the need to save our planet.

You can join in at Earth Day events across British Columbia on Earth Day and the weekend following.

In Vancouver, Earth Day volunteers will assemble to plant native trees and shrubs at Everett Crowley Park (entrance at Kerr Street and 64th Avenue) in Southeast Vancouver on Saturday, April 26th – from 11 am until 3 pm.

The old Kerr Road Dump is now a natural green refuge for people and wildlife, where reforesting work continues each year on Earth Day.  Earth Day at Everett Crowley Park offers a wide range of free family-oriented fun including professional performers, music, dancing, cultural and ecological exhibits, and very special children’s activities.

The entertainment, exhibits and activities are all free and wheelchair accessible. This annual event is organized by local residents, and is supported by local businesses and the City of Vancouver. Food vendors will be on site.

In Surrey, a “Party for the Planet” takes place on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a wide variety of events, all happening at The Plaza at New City Hall, 13450 104th Avenue.

You can check for other events in British Columbia – and elsewhere – at Earth Day Canada’s website.

BC Insulators attend BUILDEX Vancouver conference Feb 25-26 with message of energy conservation through Mechanical Insulation

The BC Insulators attended the recent BUILDEX Vancouver conference on February 25 and 26, bringing our message of energy conservation through Mechanical Insulation to delegates there. Our 1% Solution booth about Mechanical Insulation was popular with many of the more than 13,500 delegates from the construction, architecture, building supply and other sectors dropping by to learn more.
Bob Barter at booth - UBCM-small

Attend this Free one-hour webinar on Mechanical Insulation

The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry. The Registry supports both voluntary and mandatory reporting programs and provides comprehensive, accurate data to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Attend this one-hour webinar, offered at no cost, to learn simple on-line tools that help you evaluate mechanical insulation projects. Learn how to use the free Mechanical Insulation Design Guide (MIDG), which gives you an instant snapshot of the benefits of proposed mechanical insulation projects, including:
• Energy savings
• Payback periods, rate of return and net present value
• Reductions in emissions and greenhouse gases

MIDG also helps you in the design, selection, specification, installation and maintenance of mechanical insulation.

Attend if you want to:
• Identify your most cost-effective mechanical insulation projects
• Calculate the benefits of these projects before you begin
• Learn the benefits of MIDG through demonstrations, case studies and hands-on training

New Guide and Specification for Mechanical Insulation Take a Look

Mechanical insulation (MI) is insulation applied to pipes, ducts, and mechanical equipment (such as boilers, storage tanks, and air handling equipment). It is different from the insulation found in the walls, basement floor, and roof of a building.

Mechanical insulation is found in both industrial facilities, as well as larger commercial, institutional and residential buildings—typically referred to as ‘Part 3’ buildings.

New Guide and Specification for Mechanical Insulation is available for review.

The BC Insulators Are Radical

The federal government is continuing to dismantle Canada’s environmental protections that have been built up through decades of science and public input. At the same time, they have tried to smear those who try to protect the environment  by calling them radicals and extremists.


If it is radical to:

  • Protect nature;
  • Defend informed debate and policies based on independent science;
  • Find a path to a low carbon energy future;
  • Safeguard communities from toxic pollution; and
  • Work tirelessly to leave our country a better place for the next generation…

Then the BC Insulators are radical….We are proud to be fighting for Canada’s future.

PEMBINA Institute Meeting

We met recently with Josha MacNab of the PEMBINA Institute and spoke about the work they are undertaking here in British Columbia, and how mechanical insulation can play a roll in getting government to embrace the Idea of Building Labeling. You may ask what is Building Labeling?.

Building Labeling is a way of applying an energy efficiency label to a building at the point of sale, even when renting a home or business location. This will ensure the best sustainable bang for your buck. The Pembina Institute believes this is a way of developing a culture of energy efficiency labels to buildings, similar to that of appliances of cars, and is already standard practice in several jurisdictions in the US and Europe.

Mechanical insulation are the nuts and bolts of building construction and are often overlooked. Josha believes that missing mechanical insulation and the poor construction practises could be playing a key roll in why green building designs are not meeting their energy efficiency goals.

We are looking forward to working with Josha MacNab and the PEMBINA Institute to ensure mechanical insulation is installed correctly, using best practises, up to date specifications and a third party inspection process.