May 29, 2015


Civic Election 2014

Steeves attacks Wasylycia-Leis' plan for BRT without new proposals of his own

Finishing the second leg of the Southwest Transitway will mean an extra five percent tax hike, warned mayoral candidate Gord Steeves, who vowed to cancel rapid transit and start fresh.

Speaking to reporters near the Parker lands, the controversial detour planned for the second leg to the University of Manitoba, Steeves challenged rival Judy Wasylycia-Leis to explain how she would pay for the $590 million project. He said the city’s share of the project, about $225 million, will mean council will need to find $20 million a year starting in 2020 and lasting for 30 years. That’s to cover the capital costs and the ongoing maintenance payments to the private builder under the P3 model.

Against Thursday's dark clouds and sun, Gord Steeves wonders how  major projects like the BRT will be financed.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Against Thursday's dark clouds and sun, Gord Steeves wonders how major projects like the BRT will be financed. Photo Store

Steeves said $20 million amounts to a five per cent tax hike over and above the three per cent Wasylycia-Leis has affirmed.

"I do not believe Judy has contemplated the full and far reaching impact of the cost of the second phase of bus rapid transit," said Steeves. "Is she simply planning on going deeper into debt as her political masters at the province are prone to do?"

Steeves restated a pledge to freeze property taxes and kill the second leg of the southwest corridor because it won’t improve service and won’t spark the kind of dense development the original route close to Pembina Highway was meant to.

It was the third day in a row Steeves castigated Wasylycia-Leis without announcing anything new.

Though asked repeatedly, Steeves would not offer his vision for the next leg of rapid transit - where it should run, how to pay for it, or when it could be completed. He also declined to offer a general statement in support of the notion of a high speed line to the University of Manitoba.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Scroll down to load more

Top