Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely issued a statement today calling on the interprovincial bridge study to stop so, essentially, the city can get its act together on transportation planning.
Quickly bringing you up to speed: The National Capital Commission, in partnership with the Ontario and Quebec governments, is trying to figure out where to build a new bridge across the Ottawa River. There are three shortlisted options and two of them are in the Orléans area. The third is at the Aviation Pkwy. It’s a long, multi-phase study and there are more public consultations happening tonight in Gatineau and Tuesday in Orléans. The yellow lines on the map above give you an idea of where the three options are.
So, McNeely now wants the brakes put on this massive study until the “transportation needs of the residents of Orléans are addressed,” and for him that means building LRT to Orléans before building an interprovincial bridge.
Coincidentally, councillors Bob Monette and Stephen Blais today issued their own statement saying they don’t want an interprovincial bridge to be in the Orléans area.
A riled Monette couldn’t believe McNeely’s comments about stopping the bridge study when the city already has a transportation master plan.
“What he’s saying is, let’s not be responsible as elected officials,” Monette said. “As far as having LRT, yes, let’s have LRT as soon as possible. Show me the money, and we’ll do it.”
No love lost between these two politicians. I don’t know if you can call them archenemies, but political watchers will know Monette (now a PC supporter) used to work for McNeely (Liberal) until the relationship went south. It’s a bizarre dynamic but one that from time-to-time pops up at City Hall.