Mayoral candidate David Sanders said he would suspend completion of the southwest rapid transit corridor for a year to upgrade the project to replace buses with light rail on a simplified route.
Sanders told a gathering of supporters at the Fort Garry Hotel this morning that the civic administration and current council has bungled the rapid transit project, adding staff refuse to release key documents and council doesn’t know where to find the funds for the annual $20 million financing costs.
"If the present transitway scheme is as shaky as I think it is, it will be far better if we take a little more time to determine a better way of providing real rapid transit service," Sanders said.
Sanders said he opposes the controversial dog-leg route that takes the transit corridor west of Pembina Highway through an empty field, adding the city would be better off relocating the CN Rail Letellier line and making a new route straight up Pembina Highway to the University of Manitoba.
Sanders accused the civic administration of refusing to release copies of a detailed cost-benefit analysis and a value-for-money review of the project, even though the documents have been submitted to the federal government.
Sanders said if elected mayor he would order staff to release the documents or invite them to quit if they refuse.
"I consider the refusal of the civic administrators to produce those reports to council and the public to be gross insubordination," Sanders said. "If the reports in question are not distributed...there will be serious consequences for those officials responsible."