Here’s Mayor Jim Watson speaking on this YouTube video before the last election. We put his words to the truth test:
- Council is working collaboratively. Yes, the Bobbleheads get along very well;
- “Any objective analysis” which in this case is Watson’s opinion;
- Yes light rail has been moved ahead at hideous expense and over-spending;
- “Fixed-price” contract for LRT … the city paid dearly for that and now can’t enforce odd late provisions;
- Yes, Phase 2 planning is under way with a line tunnelled where no one lives, the obvious best route ignored, no ridership study and more than $3.2 billion of unnecessary spending so Watson can build a monument to himself and staff can win some awards like that very interesting one from the Tunnelling Association of Canada;
- Yes, sometime we will hit the ground running on Phase 2 when all the delays and extra costs from Phase 1 are completed;
- Integrity … that’s an interesting concept. An auditor general who creates an audit to show that best management practices are being used. Or denying information to some councillors about the Christmas Miracle extra money found. Or knowing for months that light rail is late but only releasing that information after the budget is completed despite the fact that late LRT has a significant effect on the budget;
- Yes we cancelled the first light-rail plan and lost $35 million in legal damages but current costs are overwhelmingly higher. The PR is two-per-cent budget increases. The reality is astonishing debt;
- Watson is in absolutely no position to criticize previous light-rail plans on expense;
- Yes the Watson LRT plan did a “less deep dive” and put people’s lives at stake with sinkholes;
- Light rail will not solve traffic problems. Instead it will let people who take transit not be stuck in traffic jams. Will LRT be faster than driving? Well with everyone getting an extra transfer at the end stops of LRT, probably not.
- Ridership at OC Transpo is at best stagnant.
Does Watson actually believe these things he’s saying?
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