Archive for May 11th, 2012

LRT Letter Becomes A Different Story

- May 11th, 2012

Oh, where to begin on this strange LRT story.

It was shaping up to be a nice little hit — three MPs from different parties sharing a complaint about the city’s LRT changes — until Conservative Royal Galipeau admitted he didn’t have all the facts. He desperately wants a station near Parliament Hill and it took Mayor Jim Watson to point out there will be a station only blocks away.

Of course, the mayor’s office loved this, and why shouldn’t they. Watson’s chief of staff sent out a memo to council after the Galipeau meeting and I’ve pasted it below.

Galipeau told me he was in the House of Commons all day and didn’t have time to do proper research before signing the letter. He talked about a “relationship of trust” with Liberal Mauril Belanger and New Democrat Paul Dewar and noted Belanger was focused on a station in Confederation Square.

I thought something was amiss when I contacted MP John Baird’s office to see if he had a position and his rep said planning decisions are up to the city.

Watson, of course, is well-prepared for an attack like this.

He dismissed Dewar’s opposition by noting the Ottawa Centre MP hasn’t attended one committee meeting on LRT (possibly because he was running for the NDP leadership, Watson offered).

And on Belanger, Watson said it was the Ottawa-Vanier MP who called for a station at the Government Conference Centre ahead of last year’s federal election.

Belanger, by the way, said he’s disappointed the conference centre wouldn’t get a station and dismissed it as a separate issue from the Confederation Square matter.

Just another Friday afternoon on the merry-go-round.

From: Arpin, Serge 

Sent: May 11, 2012 3:31 PM

To: =City Council
Cc: Kirkpatrick, Kent; Schepers, Nancy

Subject: Meeting with Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa-Orleans
 
Mayor Watson has asked me to brief you on the outcome of a meeting he had this afternoon with Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa-Orleans.
 
Mr. Galipeau was unaware that the City was planning a station on Queen Street between Bank and Metcalfe Streets, within two blocks of Parliament.
 
He was also unaware of the fact that the City was working closely with the National Arts Centre, an important federal agency, to explore the feasibility of a connecting tunnel between the National Arts Centre and the Downtown East Station.
 
After the working meeting, Mr. Galipeau informed the Mayor that he was pleased with the City’s plans for a station at Downtown East and he felt it would serve the parliamentary precinct well.
 
He also told the Mayor that he had full confidence in Council’s ability to manage the LRT project in a diligent way.
 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Serge

Three MPs Unite Against LRT Changes

- May 11th, 2012

Nothing like a good LRT beef to bring parties together…

Bélanger – Galipeau – Dewar — Letter to Jim Watson and Councillors Re. LRT