Watson wants management board to oversee LRT
Mayoral candidate Jim Watson says he'll appoint a management team to oversee Ottawa's $2.1-billion light rail project, if he's elected mayor.
Watson maintained he supports the city's light rail transit plan, and does not want to push "another reset button" on transit.
He said although he supports the project, he has concerns about the city's ability to manage it.
Watson says the city lost credibility in the procurement process after Mayor Larry O'Brien cancelled the previous north-south light rail plan. To regain credibility, he wants Infrastructure Ontario to run the procurement process for the contract.
Watson also hopes to appoint a private sector board that would oversee construction. The board would be made up of residents who have extensive experience in transportation, finance, construction and project management.
He says creating the board would help avoid political meddling that could delay and drive up the cost of the project.
"We simply can't afford to have Council micromanaging this project," Watson stated in a news release.
O'Brien fired back Wednesday by posting a message on his website, calling Watson a "wobbler" on light rail and pointing to Watson's past comments on the cost of LRT and feasibility of a downtown tunnel.
Watson also plans to ask city council to create a transit commission to oversee OC Transpo. The commission would be made up of mostly councillors, as well as private citizens with experience in the field.
O'Brien has also promised to shake up OC Transpo management by creating a transit commission.