Waste Of The Day Awards

Wasteful Walls

TransLink ripped down a three-year-old sound wall in Pitt Meadows, replacing it at a cost of $817,000. If they had listened to neighbors in the first place, they wouldn’t have wasted this money. Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters was frustrated: “It's just roll the windows down and throw the money out of the window and we'll build a new one.”

Artistic Affliction

“Cash-strapped” TransLink will spend $165,000 on art at the Main Street SkyTrain station. As Mayor Lois Jackson said: “You know in some stations we don't even have escalators for some of the seniors to go up and down, yet we've got all this extra hundreds of thousands of dollars for art. And I think that's totally wrong-headed.”

Bozo Bonuses

One day after TransLink raised gas taxes in Metro Vancouver to the highest in the country, it was discovered by CTV News that executives were cashing in big bonus cheques. Some 22 executives shared $325,000 in bonuses. "Having worked with these people, they're not worth it. They must think they have died and gone to heaven. It's unbelievable,” said Derek Corrigan.

Numbers No No

TransLink’s overpaid-CEO-turned-advisor Ian Jarvis revealed his philosophy of leadership, including how to downplay unfavorable statistics – “numbers get in the way of a good story – never, never ever mix numbers with strategy.”

Sneaky Strategies

TransLink’s overpaid-CEO-turned-advisor Ian Jarvis revealed his philosophy of leadership: how to get his agenda through by “placing strategic investment and budget decisions after debates on off-leash dog bylaws.”

Coocoo for Quagmire

TransLink’s overpaid-CEO-turned-advisor Ian Jarvis explained how to handle elected officials: “Procedural quagmire – the art of knowing when to refer [a] procedural issue to the corporate secretary, and then watching the debate turn into a series of votes on amendments to amendments, knowing full well that, in the end, you’re going to get a resolution that can be interpreted any way you like.”

Closed Doors Cash In

When TransLink dumped politicians from its board of directors and went to the current “experts” model, it also kicked the public out of board meetings. The result: at their first meeting in 2008, the board approved a 500% increase in meeting fees, a 150% increase in the retainer paid to the Chair, and the establishment of a $25,000 retainer paid to each director when none existed before.

Spending Splurge

TransLink corporate costs jumped 40.8 per cent from 2006 to 2011.

Cash Money Cops

In 2010, 66 of 177 Transit Police officers made six figures.

Meetings Meltdown

Even members of the TransLink mayors council consider their meetings a waste of time. It’s a “circus,” said West Vancouver’s Mike Smith. Why? “The only opportunity we have to ask questions about it is in the mayors meetings, but it is kind of after the fact,” said Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore. “Sometimes it feels as though we are not really part of what’s going on.” Of course, they still went, and still cashed their $500 per meeting cheques.