Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where does public transit fit in the upcoming election?

The City of Ottawa will go to the polls to elect its next mayor on October 25, 2010. Nine candidates have come forward so far (Cesar Bello, Alex Cullen, Mike Maguire, Stanley Pioro, Sean Ryan, Jane Scharf, Charlie Taylor, Jim Watson, Samuel Wright, with current mayor Larry O'Brien non-committal), but it looks like a two-horse race between Alex Cullen and Jim Watson so far.

Given the C.V.'s of these two candidates, one must expect public transit would figure high on the list of election issues this year: Cullen is currently chair of the city's Transit Committee, while Watson (who in January resigned his position as provincial minister of municipal affairs and housing) has been openly uncertain, if not flat-out critical, of the city's current light-rail transit plan.

There's still plenty of time left in the campaign, but little has been said so far about OC Transpo and public transit in general in the city. I'm looking forward to hearing the plans of, and hopefully talking to, the city's mayoral candidates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jim Watson should be made to ride the bus at "rush hour" every day from now until polling day.

It won't change his mind. He's still got the small-town Ottawa, anti-transit mentality from the 1970s, but at least I'll get guilty pleasure from knowing he's wasted as much time riding "Bus Rapid Transit" as I have.

Lord help me if voting strategically against Watson means voting for Larry.