Light Rail

Electric Light Rail: Not Gassy Enough?

By Jason Leach
Published January 07, 2007

The following article in last week's news would seem to present some cause for concern regarding Canada's new environment minister:

I can't help but wonder why John Baird seemed intent on killing the plans for Ottawa's new electric light rail system.

Finances don't seem to be the main reason as Ottawa still may end up being on the hook for the same amount of money, or more, to get out of this project at the 11th hour than the actual rail system would have cost to build.

Knowing what we know about Canada's two largest political parties and their annual billion dollar subsidies to the oil and gas industry one can't help but wonder if opposition to this light rail project came down to two simple points:

  1. They system was going to be electric.
  2. The system was going to be, well...rail.

If this does happen to be the case, Canada can look forward to more of what we've seen over the past 13 years from our environment ministers: a whole lot of hot air.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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By al (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2007 at 14:17:21

Ottowa didn't cancel it, they simply said that the new council would have to give final approval since there was some local controversy, and what did the stupid council do? Start messing around with the plans until the dealine came up and then cancel the project.

What a bunch of ditherers on that council, reminds me of ours kind of.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 07, 2007 at 15:49:01

you are correct al, but one can't underestimate the role that Baird played in creating a sense of nervousness among ottawa council. They had already voted 54 or 55 times over the previous few years on all sorts of motions that were leading to construction....the final vote was lost after intervention by our new 'environment' minister. Their council wasn't wavering or dithering at all for 5 years of planning - only after the letter from Mr. Baird.

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2007 at 00:22:19

It's my understanding that the north-south line that got the axe wouldn't have been much use for commuters. Maybe now they can concentrate on the proposed east-west line whuch makes way more sense.

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2007 at 12:55:15

it was a shame to see LRT get the axe in ottawa but the plan smelled from the beginning. baird aided in its demise by undermining the project and by threatening to take funding off the table.

i hope nobody has their hopes up for the environment with baird at the helm, not that he'll actually be making any decisions himself.

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