Well thank goodness someone is conducting due diligence on the City of Ottawa’s light-rail plan because the municipality certainly isn’t doing it.
While Mayor Jim Watson is confident he is getting $1.15 billion in Phase 2, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi appears to saying “hold on thar” to the mayor. Sohi wants to conduct due diligence before forking out such a huge wad of money.
Watson has prided himself on not “dilly-dallying” on getting light rail done. A little due diligence on the city’s part might have kept the bill for light rail down from its now estimated $6 billion as compared to the cancelled Chiarelli plan at $2.8 billion. Strangely for less than half the cost of the Watson plan, the previous proposal got to Kanata and Barrhaven and included the Vimy Memorial Bridge. The Watson plan does not.
Photo above: The O-Train … still Ottawa’s great transit bargain.
Voters in Barrhaven and Kanata should be throwing out their councillors in 2018 for missing those whoppers. Who is doing their homework on council.
The Watson plan also tunnels a line down the Macdonald Parkway where no one lives as a sop to developers so they can fill the area around the line with high-priced condos in this high-rent rendezvous. That’s called TOD … normally perceived as transit-oriented development but in Ottawa’s case it’s transit-oriented deception.
So yes minister Sohi, conduct your due diligence. If you do it right, you’ll see Ottawa’s LRT is massively overpriced.
Watson’s government is either gaming you or is appallingly incompetent.
Approve the plan minister Sohi as it is, and you’re just as culpable at Watson for wasting $3.2 billion.
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