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Watson calls on Ottawa's provincial election candidates to keep Stage 3 LRT top of mind

Watson said he'd like to hear back from all candidates in the next couple of weeks so voters are informed before the June 2 provincial election.
2022-05-13 jim watson
Mayor Jim Watson on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at the Zibi site in Gatineau, Que. (Photo/Dani-Elle Dubé)

Mayor Jim Watson may not be Ottawa’s leader by the time LRT’s Stage 3 comes to fruition, but he’s not letting the project, one in which he started, to fall to the wayside.

On Friday, May 13, Watson sent out a letter to party leaders and candidates in Nepean, Carleton and Kanata-Carleton, asking them to keep Stage 3 LRT top of mind not only when they run during the provincial election, but if they should win the election.

“As the construction of Stage 2 LRT continues to Orléans, Riverside South, the Ottawa International Airport, Algonquin College and Moodie Drive, the City of Ottawa has not approved two Environmental Assessments that set the stage for the extension of LRT to Kanata/Sittsville in the west and Barrhaven in the south,” Watson wrote. “As part of Stage 3 LRT, the City will bring the comfort and environmental benefits of rail to some of Ottawa’s fastest-growing communities.”

Asking if their party will commit to negotiating with the City regarding funding 50 per cent of Ottawa’s Stage 3 LRT project, Watson asks for a reply by all who received his letter by May 26, so that he can share their responses with residents ahead of the June 2 election.

Stage 2 will include three extensions in the south, east and west, 44 km of rail and 24 new stations, which the City says means “shorter commutes, cleaner air and a strong economy,” via its website.

When completed, Stage 2 will bring 77 per cent of residents within 5 km of rail.

Ottawa’s city council approved the design for Barrhaven’s LRT in November 2020.

Council approved 10 km and seven stations from Baseline Station to Barrhaven Town Centre, which will include three crossings to separate VIA Rail tracks from Woodroffe Avenue, the southwest Transityway and Fallowfield Road along with interim measures to make transit more efficient and reliable along Woodroffe Avenue. Council previously approved an environmental assessment to extend LRT to Kanata and Stittsville.

Altogether with the Barrhaven extension, these projects comprise Stage 3 of LRT.

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