No longer muzzled by a conflict of interest, Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig has sparked a lot of reaction with his comments yesterday about the light rapid transit plan. Speaking on the Morning Edition, the mayor said that the region of Waterloo should look into the costs of cancelling the $818 million project. Now, other political leaders in the area are weighing in:
Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr
"It's absolutely too late."
"[It] would be wasting millions of dollars and in fact it would put the issue of public transit and the gains that are being made in public transit probably back 10 years. Because it would take that long again to ramp something up to replace it."
"It would be a retrogressive step at his point in time and a very dangerous one for this council and the region."
Councillor Jim Wideman
"Wanting to scrap the project and put eight years of work and throw it out the window — I can't describe it any other way other than totally irresponsible."
"He'll get lots of publicity out of this and it makes good politics for him for re-election. I get that. But it's totally irresponsible and certainly not the best thing for the citizens of waterloo region."
Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran
"I support Mayor Craig in his request. I think it's incumbent on all of us as elected officials to make sure we have the correct information for our taxpayers and I know a lot of people in our community are still opposed to the cost of the LRT."
"I think it would be too late if we can't afford it and we're in a significant budget crunch. So I think we need to look at the whole picture."
"I don't know what the costs would be to cancel it but I believe the citizens need to know. They're asking these questions."
Wilmot Township Mayor Les Armstrong
"I'm not sure where it's coming from or why. I know [Craig's] been very disappointed that he hasn't had an opportunity to speak during all of this but he's not the only one.
"I can't guess what's in his mind as to why he would make that comment. He may or may not be seriously thinking about wanting to cancel it. To be honest, with the money we've already spent and are committed to already, I think it's too late. I think we have to forge ahead and get it done."
Wellesley Township Mayor Ross Kelterborn
"His comments are a little late, in my opinion."
"Doug always was after Go Transit for Cambridge and he's still after GO Transit for Cambridge. I feel if I were the mayor of Cambridge that would be what I'd be tying to get."
"To cancel the LRT at this time with all the money we have already spent — things are developing around the LRT the way we had anticipated it would and I think it's the right thing to do."
Cambridge councillor Jane Brewer
"My feeling is the train has left the station."