Just when I was
about to write an editorial on the impact further delays
in the launch of Ottawa’s LRT system is having on commuters
(the latest odds are on late July) I happened to read this
week’s column by Orléans MP Andrew Leslie’s on the 2019
In it, he mentions
the fact that the budget contains funding for first time
homebuyers. There’s over a billion dollars to cover the
costs of renovations to make homes more energy efficient.
There’s a rebate program to provide up to $5,000 toward
the purchase of electric cars that cost less than $45,000.
There’s an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement
for Seniors. All of which are good things. There’s even
money in the budget to replace the Alexandria Bridge and
rehabilitate the Chaudière and MacDonald-Cartier bridges,
all three of which are long overdue.
But when I read
the part about the need for an interprovincial crossings
study led by the NCC, I instantly broke out into a cold
sweat an April Fool’s joke. Are you kidding me!@#? We need
another interprovincial crossing study like I need a hole
in the head.
Now, I’m fully
aware of the fact that the last interprovincial crossing
study was done under the auspices of the former Harper government,
but it was as thorough and complete as it could be. It also
cost more than $4.5 million and my head started throbbing.
If it was April 1, I would have immediately chalked it up
as and was one of the most controversial and divisive studies
in the city’s history, basically pitting the communities
of Vanier and Orléans against each over the potential location
of a bridge.
The study initially
looked at 13 potential options for an interpro-vincial crossing
and then narrowed the list down to three – Kettle Island
connecting with the Vanier Parkway; Duck Island connecting
with Hwy 174 near Canotek Park; and McLaurin Bay which would
have taken the bridge precariously close to Convent Glen
In the end, the
preferred location turned out to be Kettle Island, which
has been the preferred location of every single interprovincial
crossing study ever done. The only problem was that the
politicians wouldn’t go along with the findings and the
study was mothballed and placed in a dark room with all
the others that preceded it.
You do not need
another study. You do not need to waste another $2.5 million
coming to the exact same conclusion as all the other studies.
All you need is the political will to build a bridge at
Kettle Island, or failing that, tons of money to build a
tunnel under the Ottawa River connecting Gatineau to King
Edward and Hwy. 417. Pick one and be done with it and spare
us all with having to relive another pointless waste of
time, money and energy.
The answers lie
in an interprovincial inquiry and the sooner its undertaken