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ION - Waterloo Region's Light Rail Transit
#31
Personally, I don't see Wettlaufer getting elected. My bets for Kitchener are as follows:
Tom Galloway (almost certain to win; pro-LRT)
Geoff Lorentz (almost certain to win; pro-LRT)
Karen Redman (I have a feeling that she'll win; pro-LRT)
Cameron Dearlove (just based on the number of signs out there, he'll probably get this; pro-LRT)

I think it's ridiculous that LRT is still an issue in this election. The f**king thing is under construction already! *sigh*

My real fear is Jay Aissa getting elected. I'm not sure that Ken Seiling's reputation and name recognition is enough against the deep pocketed Aissa and his spewing of anti-LRT propaganda. Must get back on topic...
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#32
In Ion related news, the Uptown portion from Allen to Erb on Caroline is scheduled to begin construction tomorrow. (October 14)
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#33
Another anti-LRT missive from Shortreed: Light rail transit isn’t a very good investment
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#34
(10-14-2014, 10:12 AM)ookpik Wrote: Another anti-LRT missive from Shortreed: Light rail transit isn’t a very good investment

I would be interested to know what responses the Region/Grandlinq has to some of the specific financial points that Shortreed raises.

What is the budget figure that is being used when calculating the contingency?  Is it the $818 Million Capital Cost; the total, 30-year cost of the project; or some other figure?  Shortreed contends in the article above that the contingency has been reduced to 1%.  This Waterloo Chronicle article suggests that there is $10 million built in for contingencies which is in the ballpark for the capital cost.

Given the amount of real estate that the Region will be tearing up and replacing in various brownfield locations, it would not surprise me if there were a few environmental surprises.  For instance, 1 Victoria had an estimated $2.6 Million environmental cleanup before it could move forward.  I wouldn't be surprised if contamination were found at the Maintenance Facility (former Bauer factory), in Uptown Waterloo (site of several now-long demolished factories), around King/Victoria (site of several factories including Uniroyal/Epton), or along Charles St (several factories including Lang's Tannery and the coal gasification plant where the bus terminal currently sits).  

If the contingency is used up, who is left to pay the balance?
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#35
In response to Shortreed, I posted the following in The Record comments section about his article:



"Mr. Shortreed's arguments are straw dogs in a world of reality. His arguments appear to be based on a static model that involves a less than realistic short term "analysis". (I use analysis politely with respect for his previously earned titles).In his world there is no cost benefit future. Need one say more about a near sighted and self serving article with no analytical tools/analysis?"
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#36
I'd love to know how that ended up on the front page of the Record's website as if it were an article and not an opinion piece.
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#37
It is not unusual for the e-Record to post op eds on its front page.
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#38
(10-14-2014, 11:14 PM)panamaniac Wrote: It is not unusual for the e-Record to post op eds on its front page.

Like yesterday when they had two. One was Shortreed's "Light rail transit isn’t a very good investment." The other was Outhit's "Road Ahead: Partners to make millions financing rail transit."

Coincidence or anti-LRT bias? 

Bonus question: Does this violate journalistic ethics considering there's an election underway in which the LRT is a major issue?

Imagine the hue and cry from the anti-LRT crowd if the Record placed two pro-LRT opinion pieces on their e-frontpage.
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#39
(10-15-2014, 09:20 AM)ookpik Wrote: Bonus question: Does this violate journalistic ethics considering there's an election underway in which the LRT is a major issue?

Imagine the hue and cry from the anti-LRT crowd if the Record placed two pro-LRT opinion pieces on their e-frontpage.

It's a newspaper, folks. It's not on anybody's side.

We know that folks like Outhit don't favour LRT, but we also know that the editorial board has pretty much constantly supported LRT.

If you've got an opinion, then I'd politely suggest: forget the cesspool that is the comments section. Your words will do nothing there. Instead, write a letter to the editor. That, at least, has a chance of reaching the eyes of rational human beings.

Make it a good, and thoughtful letter. And why not write it now? It's a good time for it. I hear there's an election on.
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#40
wouldnt the record want to show a little bit of balance? i guess not
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#41
(10-11-2014, 11:22 PM)fakepnijjar Wrote: I feel there is a good chance Aissa wins his race.

Is this a realistic possibility? I think he came across as a bit of a buffoon during the LRT trial.
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#42
(10-16-2014, 03:34 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(10-11-2014, 11:22 PM)fakepnijjar Wrote: I feel there is a good chance Aissa wins his race.

Is this a realistic possibility? I think he came across as a bit of a buffoon during the LRT trial.

You may have a better memory than most.

Yes, it is a realistic possibility. He has established himself as the main non-incumbent contender. He has an apparently lavish budget. He has a team working on voter identification. He even gets a boost from being the first name on the ballot.

I'm not saying it's the most likely outcome, but it's certainly possible. I think there's a lot of people who have their heads in the sand about this.
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#43
I wouldn't be shocked to see him get elected... I notice more Aissa lawn signs than any other when I'm out and about.
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#44
Here's how Aissa responded to the Record's questionnaire:
Quote:What are the 3 issues that you believe need the most attention in your municipality (school board)?:  I believe the three most important issues in this campaign are Regional debt, which has tripled in the past 5 years, increasing property taxes which will have to be raised to pay for this debt, and affordable housing in the Region.


What do you intend to do about those issues if elected?: no response

What's interesting is that there's no mention of what he would do with the LRT other than be concerned about Regional debt.

Meanwhile Telegdi does a lot of handwringing over the LRT but makes no promises to kill it.

Quote:What are the 3 issues that you believe need the most attention in your municipality (school board)? What do you intend to do about those issues if elected?


LRT: If continued, the LRT program would impair the future financial health of our region for the next 30 years and take away from other priorities. I will call for an independent review of the transit program to include making all LRT documents public; reconsider the less costly regionwide Bus Rapid Transit system; and seek public input through meetings, polls, or a referendum if needed.

Public Trust: I believe that government must be open and accountable. I will challenge the status quo and be responsive to constituents.

Responsible Government: I will work to keep taxes and user rates affordable; care for our most vulnerable citizens and those on fixed income; address road safety; expand community safety programs, daycare, affordable housing, and initiatives to protect the environment.

What do you intend to do about those issues if elected?: no response

Likewise Telegdi's site http://www.voteonkwlrt.ca/ promises to study LRT vs BRT, with "a referendum if necessary" but not necessarily a referendum. 

So it seems these guys want to use the LRT as a, um, vehicle to get elected but (my wishful thinking) won't make much of an effort to kill it if they succeed. And politicians wonder why the public is so cynical about politicians... 
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#45
Chuck Howitt of TriTag responds to Shortreed: Don’t ignore the benefits of light rail transit in Waterloo Region 
Quote:John Shortreed's Oct. 14 opinion column talked a great deal about the costs of the Ion, our light rail transit system, but conveniently ignored the benefits. He also failed to account for the expense of not building rapid transit in Waterloo Region, or the potentially staggering costs of cancellation...
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