Watson, speaking to reporters Monday after addressing the Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual convention in Ottawa, said provincial government staff are continuing to scrutinize the proposed plan, which includes a tunnel downtown for a light-rail service.It's no secret that members from every level of government--municipal, provincial, and federal--are concerned that a project of this magnitude runs the risk of overshooting its budget. It seems unlikely that staff can offer certain assurances, but they'll have to come close if this thing's ever going to get started.
He said he is concerned about the affordability of the plan because the city's original project for north-south rail -- scrapped by the current council -- was a $1-billion project while the current, more extensive plan is close to $5 billion.
"That obviously concerns me as a keeper of tax dollars," said Watson, the Liberal MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Ottawa West-Nepean MPP and Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Jim Watson expressed concerns with the City's current light-rail transit plan, suggesting that he's not convinced the estimated $4-5B price tag would not escalate quickly, according to the Ottawa Citizen: