Watson, Harder Deceive Barrhaven


Doing an Environmental Assessment for light rail to Barrhaven is a gruesome $600,000 waste of money.

This is 2018 municipal electioneering at its worst. Mayor Jim Watson and ward Councillor Jan Harder are giving the voters of Barrhaven the misplaced impression that work is under way to bring LRT to Barrhaven. Wrong.


Here is the telling statement in the release below: “The funding of this EA would bring Barrhaven on par with the Kanata LRT project, which received the results of its EA in April 2018, and the Stage 2 extension to Orléans, where LRT will go as far east as Trim Road by 2022.”

Yes. Unfortunately Barrhaven is on a par with Kanata which has no plans for LRT construction through 2031. And no guarantees are in place that construction would start then. Why?

As city staff pointed out to the drooping faces of Kanata residents, there’s no money.

So here is city staff assembling an EA for an LRT line to Barrhaven that has no immediate or long-term chance of being built. Even if construction is started in 2031, just how much will Kanata and Barrhaven have changed in 13 years. EAs will probably be needed to be done again in 2031 in the event angels drop money from the sky.

This is a deception by Harder and Watson plain and simple. It gives the people of Barrhaven the absolutely wrong impression that light rail is on the way. Vote Jan Harder and Jim Watson on Oct. 22. Don’t buy it, Barrhaven. Nothing of the sort is happening except a waste of $600,000. Add this to the $3.2 billion of overspending on phases 1 and 2 of light rail.

Many reasons exist for heaving Harder and Watson out of office this fall. There are too many to be mentioned here but a simple search of The Bulldog will yield all of them.

Yet no need to do that. Deceiving the voters of Barrhaven and paying $600,000 to do that is unprincipled and wrong.

This deception alone is justification for defeating them in October.

The full release is below:

At City Council this morning, Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Jan Harder will take the first step in laying the groundwork to bring LRT to the rapidly growing community of Barrhaven.

With Councillor Harder’s support, Mayor Watson will bring forward a motion seeking Council’s approval to fund the launch of an Environmental Assessment (EA) Study into the future conversion of the Barrhaven Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor to Light Rail Transit (LRT) service. The funding of this EA would bring Barrhaven on par with the Kanata LRT project, which received the results of its EA in April 2018, and the Stage 2 extension to Orléans, where LRT will go as far east as Trim Road by 2022.

The work undertaken as part of this study would assess costs and timelines for implementation, including various options for a staged deployment of LRT. The study would also consider facilities and active transportation infrastructure that will support Barrhaven residents in their use of LRT, such as Park & Ride locations and multi-use pathways. The EA Study is expected to begin in the fall of 2018, and results should be received within 12 to 24 months.

The results of the study will inform the next review of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP), which will take place in the next Term of Council and will determine the order of priority of the City’s future transit investments. This exercise will also enable the City to be ready to benefit from the next rounds of federal and provincial transit investments.

In March 2017, Council had directed City staff to assess at the earliest opportunity the feasibility of this conversion to LRT service, connecting Barrhaven to the O-Train Confederation Line through Algonquin College. The motion introduced today identifies the initial $600,000 required – $336,000 from Development Charges and $234,000 from the Transit Capital Reserve, which will be transferred to the 2018 Rapid Transit EA Studies Account – as the source of funding to begin this initiative.



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9 thoughts on “Watson, Harder Deceive Barrhaven

  1. Again, just another tried-and-true political tactic. The only difference is that they don’t understand how to apply the tactic. They took five paragraphs.

    Here’s how it’s done :
    – A chicken in every pot.
    – 20 per cent off your income tax.
    – Make America great again.
    – Ten more police, no more guns.
    – LRT coming to Barrhaven.

    (And, let’s not forget – buck-a-beer.)



    1. Ron:

      Worst was how it was reported in the media.

      “Well we’re doing an EA for the impending LRT run to Barrhaven.”

      There is no plan for Barrhaven or Kanata, probably in my lifetime.

      Yet they’re spending $600,000 to make it look like it is.

      A gross waste of taxpayer money.




      1. Ken, we are in complete agreement. In this instance, those who transcribe press releases with no thought input (what ever happened to adding value) fall in the category of those who are fooled by third-rate conjurers.


  2. Ken: your analysis of this LRT-3 electioneering is bang on.

    Not only is LRT-1 not yet finished; shovels are not in the ground for LRT-2, whose planned completion date is 2023; but the talk at City Hall is not one but TWO Enivronmental Assessments for LRT-3: one to Kanata and one to Barrhaven. And Mayor Watson has mused about LRT-3 crossing the Prince of Wales Bridge to Gatineau as well! A worthwhile project, to be sure, but all THREE as LRT-3? Not likely.

    As you know, environmental assessments have shelf lives: they go stale after five years and would require refreshing. As you correctly pointed out – this LRT-3 talk is simply election-year pandering.


    1. Alex:

      And don’t forget … this is electioneering at a cost of $600,000.

      Harder and Watson are throwing around hundreds of thousands of dollars like nickels.

      It’s frightening.

      Thanks for this, Alex.



      1. If the $600K was their own money, then I have no problem with how Jim Watson and Jan Harder spend it. However, this $600K is our money, and as Alex Cullen has pointed out, the shelf life of the EA will expire before Phase II is completed, let alone before Phase III is underway. That same $600K would be better spent on repairs to Ottawa’s decrepit infrastructure, the quality of which has deteriorated materially during the terms of the two aforementioned elected officials.

        Wasting tax dollars is something that our current set of elected officials excel at.


  3. In a nutshell it’s a shame that politicians waste our hard-earned dollars to fool us, the voters. What’s more sad is the fact Watson & Harder will likely win. When will we ever learn?


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