Do Proper LRT Due Diligence, Sohi



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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6 thoughts on “Do Proper LRT Due Diligence, Sohi

  1. Finally someone whose glasses aren’t rose-coloured.

    I hope that the concerns raised by Diane Deans and others will get heard and the feds will look at not only the Phase 2 plans that are on the table now but the Phase 1 expenditures as well. Before hopping on board for the expansion, there are a lot of questions about the costs for the initial section that must be answered.

    Then there are the questions around the Airport link and other parts of Watson’s gold-plated vision. Who knows – maybe the feds can introduce logic back into the western leg of the LRT and get it onto Carling where it belongs. They could also revisit the adaptation of the Trillium line to electrify it so the same cars can serve both lines, potentially removing the need to transfer at Bayview to get to and from the south end of the city.

    Since John Baird was able to derail the Chiarelli plan to the ultimate benefit of the O’Brien/Watson plan, maybe Amarjeet Sohi will be able to get things back on track with the support of our next mayor. Federal interference could be a good thing if it puts the brakes on the more-for-less spending. Perhaps with a better plan, we could get out to Cumberland and Stittsville or even further within the current budget and in our lifetimes.

    1. Voter:

      Good points all.

      I don’t understand why residents in Kanata and Barrhaven and Stittsville aren’t furious about this plan.

      For more than double the cost of the Chiarelli plan (which included the cost of the Eiffel Tower of the Vimy Memorial Bridge), residents should be wondering what’s going on here. This is a joke.

      For $6 billion Ottawa should be able to build light rail to Scarborough and Montreal’s west end.



      1. Ken,
        Maybe the residents in Kanata and Barrhaven and Stittsville aren’t furious because they don’t plan on using a train. Since no ridership study was done, you’ll never know.

  2. Gee Ken,
    You were kind and gentle, you put in an or. You gave the chance for picking one or the other.

    A miserable old poop like me might have written:
    Watson’s government is gaming you and is appallingly incompetent.


  3. Woodpark residents are not happy about phase 2 and are usually a well organized, active group. Let’s hope they also read the Bulldog.

    1. Part of the problem with that type of opposition is that they are opposed to Phase 2 as it affects a park and two trees in their neighbourhood. As long as Watson & Co. can keep people focussed on small issues, they won’t raise their heads to look at the whole picture.
      For example, why isn’t the Woodpark community talking about getting the track out of their community altogether and onto Carling where it belongs instead of foccussing on a very, very short piece of the whole and whether it should be moved a few dozen metres in one direction or the other?


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