So far what we know about the incident in the light-rail tunnel where a worker has been “severely injured” is from a leaked document to The Bulldog.
This is very disconcerting.
The project has seen three sinkholes along its route and massive flooding.
In addition, a $180-million contract was let to Alstom for light-rail maintenance but a city release has never been issued on that huge deal.
We also know that Rideau Transit Group, the builder of the Confederation Line, is not bidding on Phase 2 of the Ottawa LRT project. That is highly unusual because the firm that gets the first contract has a leg up on other bidders because it knows the technology of Phase 1 and can easily apply this to Phase 2. Other firms do not. Usually the first contract builder getting subsequent contracts for further phases is a slam dunk. Not this time.
We also know that the Watson-O’Brien planned costs about $6 billion and doesn’t go to Kanata and Barrhaven and does not include the cost of the Vimy Memorial Bridge. The cancelled Bob Chiarelli plan cost $2.8 billion, went to Kanata, Barrhaven and Orleans plus it included the Vimy span. What’s with the extra $3.2 billion?
Even more frightening is what we don’t know. The Watson administration is quick to send out releases on Happy Town News and shameless promotion of the mayor but much, much less on bad real news.
That raises the spectre of what the public has not been told. All the problems above occur, many of which have not been formally released publicly, and yet the plan remains “on-time and on-budget”. Come on.
Instead overages are hidden in extra projects such as a fare system and a bus loop at Tunney’s Pasture. Did someone overlook these basic things? Were they not in the original light-rail contract? If not, why not?
The fundamental rule of scandal is that what you see publicly is but the tip of the iceberg. What don’t we know about this $6-billion plan? Why was city staff so adamant that much of the western line of Phase 2 travel down the Macdonald Parkway where no one lives when even a grade-school youngster could determine that a better place would be down Carling Avenue where people live.
Yet staff would not hear of Carling Avenue for a route. What reason was there for that? What’s going on there that we don’t know?
This LRT project has all the ingredients of a multi-billion-dollar scandal of a proportion that Ottawa has never seen before.
What is going on down there?
The city is covering up on a number of levels. The province must shed the light of day on this badly mishandled plan.
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