LRT Is Not A Success Story: Whopper Watch



“Of course, the LRT is nowhere near that (Phoenix pay system) sort of disaster; on the contrary, it’s a success story just awaiting completion.”

Ottawa Citizen editorial


The Ottawa Citizen has an odd standard of excellence.

I worked on that editorial board for seven years and I can tell you that if I had uttered that ridiculous statement there, I would have (very politely) been set upon by wolves.

In short, it is not true … it is not even remotely true. OC Transpo GM John Manconi’s laughable definition of late is closer to the truth than the whopper above.

The LRT is far from a success story. In fact, it is the biggest boondoggle in Ottawa municipal history.

Phase 1 and 2 cost $3.2 billion more than the rejected first plan and for all that ridiculously high spending doesn’t include the cost of the Vimy Memorial Bridge (first plan did) and doesn’t get to Barrhaven or Kanata as the first plan did.

The project was punctuated by life-threatening sinkholes, a flood, a mammoth collapsed crane (life-threatening again) and a large portion of the downtown core had to be evacuated because of a gas link.

The project is late (yes John Manconi, late) yet the municipality through some unbelievable legal bumph can’t collect the $1-million late fine. What happens with Phase 2?

Meanwhile Phase 2 is being tunnelled under a park where no one lives.

We could go on and on and on but we’ve done that so many times.

So no Ottawa Citizen, the LRT is not “a success story just awaiting completion.”

Success story? Are you kidding? It’s a disaster just awaiting completion.

There was a time when the Citizen knew the value of a dollar. A wasted $3.2 billion is a lot of dollars.

The Citizen editorial board needs to become much more familiar with the real story on LRT. It’s not pretty and certainly not a success.

This editorial does a disservice to the taxpayers of Ottawa.


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4 thoughts on “LRT Is Not A Success Story: Whopper Watch

  1. Please. Let’s go back to basics. Again!
    The LRT is not “a success story just awaiting completion”, nor has the completion date been “adjusted for all the right reasons”. The LRT “is”, simply put a mass-transportation system intended to effectively move people around the city. And you are welcome to add that statement to the Whopper Watch if you like.


    1. Sisco:

      I don’t know how you move large numbers of people around a city when much of Phase 2 will be tunnelled under a park where no one lives and yet the city had the opportunity to drive the line down the commercial ribbon of Carling with all its big institutions, high rises and shopping centres.

      I defies commonsense.




  2. Ken, you know much better than I do the staffing situation at newspapers these days. Maybe they just asked John Manconi to write that piece for them.


    1. Merrill:

      It’s just disappointing that the person writing it was so uninformed.

      I’ve been watching light rail since 1998 and I just can’t believe that such an editorial could take such a position.




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