I’ve had some feedback on my letter to the Record about the LRT and Mayor Craig of Cambridge. So here’s the letter with some answers to people’s e-mail and written comments.
Saying the LRT will be overbudget because it is government is pure speculation. The region has $4,000,000 infrastructure money left over because we came in underbudget. The Regional museum was on time and on budget. 83% of our tenders came in under budget. *To the gentleman who said I was arrogant for pointing out the Region’s Record. Not so. It is the truth.*
To include Cambridge in the first phase would DOUBLE the budget and they have less riders than KW. Why does Cambridge have less riders? Because when Cambridge council looked after transit, they starved their bus system. The Region has built it up.
Originally Doug Craig was all for the LRT. Doug Craig is the boy who wants his share first, right now and if he can’t have it, then no one in the region can have it. A Record report showed that it is WATERLOO that gets the least amount of money from the region. It’s about time MY city got its share. *Doug and I have had a spat on Twitter also but now we have made up again. I told him I have not been impressed with the attacks on him in the webzine, Cambridge Advocate.*
The Regional Official Plan draws a hard line around the urban areas to stop sprawl. LRT stops sprawl as its purpose is intensification.
The LRT will create 25,000 permanent jobs. *These jobs are not the jobs created by the building of the LRT, although those few hundred jobs will be a great stimulus. Secondly, people phoned the region thinking I was talking about 25,000 government jobs. NO. I am talking about the jobs that will be created around the stops along the LRT line. We can already see this happening with the new work space being built near King and Victoria and the Barrelworks development in Waterloo.*
Speculating on federal money is premature. Once we know what money we have, Regional Council will sit down and look at ALL the options. *I have never raised taxes by 7 to 12 percent as speculated by the Record as the increase needed because we will be 200 million short due to the decreased amount (but still a whack of money) from the province. Once we find out what the Feds will be giving the Region for this project, council can look at:
Debentures, decreasing the length of the line, and other ideas such as 3P partnerships (not in favour of that at the moment, smells of RIM to me).
When we passed the approval for the LRT last year, Imade sure there was a clause in motion that said if we didn’t get the amount of money we needed, we would not go ahead.
If the amount of money going on the property tax is too much, I will move to supporting the bus rapid transit. BTW, I have always said this.
For my other comments about the LRT, use the search function on my blog.