NL Gazette

The province will initiate a public inquiry of the Ottawa LRT network.

Take away Keys:

  • The Ontario government has authorized a public inquiry into Ottawa’s troubled light rail network.
  • Mayor Jim Watson was among those who spoke out against McKenney’s move.

In a statement made Wednesday evening, Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney stated that the problems afflicting Stage 1 of the LRT network have been “unacceptable and unsatisfactory.

As a project finance partner, we require assurance that the City of Ottawa will be able to complete the remaining stages of construction on time. Transit users in Ottawa need and demand this predictability as well “According to Mulroney’s statement.

Further, Mulroney added that the government will establish a public investigation to get to the root of the problems with the Ottawa LRT. Our objective is to get this operational as quickly as feasible.

The Confederation Line has just recently resumed limited operation after being shut down for almost two months due to a train derailment near Tremblay station on Sept. 19.

Previously, the Ottawa city council voted 13-10 against Coun. Catherine McKenney’s proposal for a judicial probe, instead opting for an audit by the city’s auditor general.

McKenney said immediately after the announcement on Wednesday that the move by the Progressive Conservative government reflects a “lack of openness” at city hall.

McKenney referenced a CBC investigation released today, which indicated authorities were aware of dependability and maintenance difficulties with the $2.1 billion network in the weeks leading up to its takeover.

McKenney explained that they need to figure out what went wrong. As a result, the procurement procedure is included. This includes the launch as well. That encompasses everything up to and including today. 

Watson’s office first stated that he would not respond since he had not “had any contact from the province” regarding the investigation.

Later that evening, however, the mayor made a statement in which he stated that he welcomed the government’s decision and that he and Premier Doug Ford “share the aim of improved public transit for the inhabitants of Ottawa.”

Over the last year, Watson has stated that his “number one goal” has been to get Rideau Transit Group (RTG), the consortium that built the $2.1 billion line, and train maker Alstom to get the line operational.

Read More: Province to launch public inquiry into Ottawa LRT network | CBC News

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