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Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Steeves says rapid transit will cost taxpayers an extra five per cent

Posted: 09/4/2014 10:44 AM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 09/4/2014 10:54 AM | Updates

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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 Judy Wasylycia-Leis to explain how she would pay for the $600-million project.

A city report suggests council must find $20 million a year, which amounts to an extra five per cent hike a year, above the roughly three per cent Wasylycia-Leis has already affirmed.

Steeves said the city can’t count on a new round of federal infrastructure funds or debt financing.

"She has an obligation to tell us where the money will come from," said Steeves.

It was the third day in a row Steeves has 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 rapid line to the University of Manitoba.

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Updated on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 10:54 AM CDT: clarifies headline

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