I just got home from work, and I've begun watching the live telecast of the City Council discussion of the Transportation Master Plan. I'm going to live blog the remainder of the meeting, including the vote at the end of it. Some of the concerns expressed so far include the cost, and serving more areas.
5:15: Michel Bellemare, Ward 11 says: "Once this plan is approved, Mr. Mayor, the ball is going to be in the corner of the provincial and federal governments." I guess the gist of his thought process is that the city has to come up with a vision, and hope that the other levels of government will help us out.
5:21: Peggy Feltmate, Ward 23: Will be supporting the plan. She believes that it's the best decision we can make presently, and that we might be thanking ourselves 20 years from now (or, she warned, we might also be upset with ourselves). The decision is the best we can make, and it's based on our vision and concerns for climate change. Finally, to get the funding done, citizens are going to have to help council lobbying federal and provincial governments.
5:23: Rob Jellett, Ward 19: "By saying we haven't got the money is like saying, 'I might run out of money in 20 years, so I should stop eating now.' ... we'll die of starvation either way." Jellett plans on supporting the plan.
5:27: Marianne Wilkinson, Ward 4: After sneaking out to do an interview on CBC Radio's "All In A Day" (great show), Wilkinson snuck back to talk more about her idea to set guidelines for expansion of light-rail into the suburbs and including them in the plan that is voted on today. Will be supporting the plan, and encourages others to support it in anticipation of dialogue about fixing any "warts" that the plan might have.
5:30: Glenn Brooks, Ward 21: Is sick of talking about 'what-ifs', and wants to get a plan in place--the alternative is that we just continue putting it off forever. Wants a plan that will move very far outside the city, including Rockcliffe, Kemptville, and other areas. "We have to think beyond the city boundaries at this point in time. Let us see when we can make connections with those municipalities outside."
5:31: Larry O'Brien: Setting up the 'major decision' that council is about to make. Talks about the four principles of honesty, long-term thinking, value-added, and prudence, and extolls this decision-making process as one that has met them all. "I'm glad that this city has decided to solve this city's transit problems from the core out." Doesn't think the vote will be close at all, and is confident it will withstand changes in government. Will be supporting it.
5:37: THE PLAN GOES THROUGH! 19 yeas, 4 nays. That's the end of that discussion, and now they're talking about zoning for churches or something.