Waterloo mayoral hopefuls Dave Jaworsky and Dave MacDonald, both with very different ideas on the construction of the light rail transit line in the region, faced off on The Morning Edition Wednesday.
The $818-million transit line is shaping up to be a key election issue in October – although regional council has already approved the project and is set to award bids to one of three groups of companies vying to build the system in the spring.
Dave MacDonald, general manager of Faith FM and a former weather reporter in Kitchener said he is opposed to the project, while Dave Jaworksy, an executive in residence at Capacity Waterloo Region and former BlackBerry director, thinks it is the right investment for the region.
Below are some of the interesting quotes from the interview with the candidates:
Dave MacDonald: “We still don’t have enough information with regard to the operations and maintenance and financing [of the LRT] and I believe those costs may far exceed $818 million over the 30-year time frame."
Dave Jaworsky: "I was able to go to the regional website where they publish data back for the past 10 years, including all of the information that the regional councillors receive. There's minutes there - some of my favourite are from the mid-2011 timeframe. And that gives you information on all the options, how they made the decisions, and even talks in the minutes about the affordability cap that was passed over three and a half years ago.”
Dave MacDonald: “We’re looking at a 30-year project and over those 30 years there are going to be a lot more costs incurred.”
Dave Jaworsky: “The LRT is only one of 100 issues that the mayor will have to face.”
Dave MacDonald: “I can't say that I support the LRT at this point because I don't know what the costs are going to be. I'm not a person who is against trains. I love trains, I'm a model train enthusiast."
The line, which will connect Fairview Park and Conestoga malls, is expected to be operational by 2017. Regional council is expected to reveal additional information on projected operating costs of the line in March.
Listen to the full interview to the left of this story.