Coleman wades into Langley-Metro fracas

Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA calls Metro a bureaucratic 'behemoth'

Rich Coleman says that the Metro Vancouver regional district has gone too far by meddling in Township business, and needs to be reined in.

Responding to the Metro board’s intention to sue the Township over a bylaw that rezoned 23.4 acres for a ‘university district,’ Coleman said that the board has become too big for its boots.

“It’s become a behemoth as far as the bureaucracy is concerned,” Coleman said.

He said that Metro has no business meddling in the Township’s affairs, and said he “absolutely” supports a move by the municipality to consider breaking away from the regional district and form its own with other local jurisdictions.

He said municipalities such as Burnaby, Vancouver, Richmond and those on the North Shore which hold power through the weighted vote on the Metro board, “would like to pay for everything off the backs of people in my constituency.”

Township council is critical of the Metro board over the university district, and with TransLink which it claims takes much more of Langley residents’ taxes than it provides in services.

Metro planning and agriculture committee chairman Derek Corrigan said that the rezoning and Rural Plan amendment bylaws for the university district do not conform to the Regional Growth Strategy, and do not comply with Langley’s own regional context statement.

Originally, the only services Metro Vancouver, formerly the Greater Vancouver Regional District, provided to the Township was sewer, water and garbage service.

That it is now dictating what the Township can do with its own land uses demonstrates that it has become “an unaccountable government unto itself,” Coleman charged.

“Metro does things that are not for them to do,” he said.

“It is better for Langley to consider leaving,” he said.

“I do think it’s time for someone to take them on,” Coleman said, adding that he is “proud of my local council” for taking the leadership role against Metro.

Coleman was also critical of Metro’s “lack of innovative or scientific” methods of sewage disposal which is currently pumped to a treatment centre before it makes its way to the sea.

“All over the world there is technology for handling sewage which is much better than that,” he said.