Throw Jimmy From The Train!
As everyone shakes themselves from their “summer slumber “they suddenly become aware that there is a municipal election in less than 2 months.
What becomes very clear is that, up to this point, the media has had a bad case of “Watsonmania”. So many media types have been constantly telling us for months that there is no chance for anyone running against incumbent Mayor Jim Watson. Of course, there are numerous photo-ops and sound-bites where Jimmy is constantly trying to tell us the same thing.
However, what does Jimmy Watson put out as one of his “major goals” for the next 4 years? More extremely expensive light rail, telling us we need a 2nd and 3rd phase of this! As an aside, I suppose some of us might be starting to realize they called this subway “light rail” likely so that the terminology would appeal more to all the rural taxpayers paying for it and who will never get any benefit from it other than disruption?
The fact that is never emphasized and lost in all the “hype” is that the City of Ottawa has not yet come up with the money for this project. The federal and provincial governments (our taxes there as well) are both contributing $600 million dollars. The municipal / City contribution comes out to $975 million. We are told that the City will contribute $448 million from federal and provincial gas tax credits (our taxes again). The remainder is to come from transit reserves and development charges. (Ref #1)
This is why development charges now imposed by the City are skyrocketing. Moreover, this is all hoped for or “wished” for money and does not actually exist yet. If all this money eventually does come into the City coffers, what are we not going to have paid for that normally would be with this money? How is the doubling of the City debt in only 4 years during the Jim Watson tenure connected?
Recently, I heard Jim Watson asked by a reporter regarding what contribution would be needed for Phase 2 of LRT. Without hesitation, the number $975 million came out of his mouth. Which project is he talking about and where is all this funding come from? Of course, such questions are never actually asked by reporters. How foolish Jimmy must think some of us are for being concerned about how his “dreams” are going to be paid for.
Therefore, everyone must start asking this man the “hard” questions about where our money is going. For example, we must dig for the truth about his proposed municipal tax increases and even more importantly, our debt during the next 4 years. Also, what is going to happen to the level of our municipal services during this time? If you do not get the straight answers from him “throw Jimmy from the Train” and select a Council and Mayor that is truly “fiscally responsible”!!