Rapid transit route could destroy sensitive area

Winnipeg's new rapid transit plan is getting a thumbs down from people who live near the recommended corridor.
A bus enters the Osborne Street Station of the rapid transit corridor line linking downtown to Jubilee Avenue. (CBC)

Winnipeg's new rapid transit plan is getting a thumbs down from people who live near the recommended corridor.

On Thursday, the city announced $137.5 million will be set aside in the 2014 and 2015 capital budgets to help fund the $350-million expansion of the rapid transit corridor from Jubilee Avenue to the University of Manitoba.

There are a handful of options the city is considering for the route but Coun. Russ Wyatt told CBC News the city is recommending one that passes just south of the so-called Parker lands.

It is possible some properties might need to be expropriated but it's too early to know, he added.

Cal Dueck lives on Parker Avenue and worries an environmentally-sensitive area could be lost.

The rapid transit line itself won't take up a lot of those lands, but it could spur development that would destroy the area, he said.

"It'll mean the destruction of many wetlands that are supposed to be protected. The City of Winnipeg's own assessment designated it as a Class A and Class B environmentally-senstive natural heritage area," he said.

Dueck has put together a number of petitions asking the city to avoid the area.