November 30th, 2022

NDP: Ottawa LRT Inquiry shows Ford must stop pursuing P3 infrastructure

OTTAWA – NDP MPPs Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre) and Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West-Nepean) released the following statement in response to the release of the final report of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (LRT) Public Inquiry:

“Today the people of Ottawa finally got the answers they are owed about who and what is to blame for the disastrous Ottawa LRT project, after two years of the Ontario NDP pushing the province to do the right thing and create this inquiry.

We are angry and know the residents of Ottawa are as well. The $2.1 billion Confederation line was plagued with a string of failures from the start, including faulty brakes, two derailments, cracked wheels, multiple shutdowns – the list goes on. The people of Ottawa were promised a functional transit system for a modern city. Instead our community got a non-stop commuting nightmare and years of costly mismanagement.

For years, Conservatives and Liberals have pushed private-public partnerships (P3) as the solution for public transit projects – and today we have a fresh reminder of how this kind of privatization has hurt Ottawa. We see that the true results of P3 projects are brutal lack of transparency to the public, conflicting interests from partners, and less control by a city over massive infrastructure plans.

We are calling on the Ford government to stop promoting disastrous P3 project delivery that subjects cities like Ottawa to costly delays and huge bills. That’s the only way to prevent the same disastrous mistakes from happening in ongoing P3 projects like Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown – because no other city should have to suffer the same hardship inflicted on Ottawa.

On behalf of the people of Ottawa, we are calling for accountability based on the findings of the LRT Public Inquiry report. The people of Ottawa can rest assured that we will be watching closely to ensure that the recommendations of this report are implemented.”