Calgary leaders express frustration at reduction of the Green Line LRT route
For immediate release – May 14, 2017
Calgary, AB: Today, MP Michelle Rempel (Calgary Nose Hill), MP Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard), City Councillor Sean Chu (Ward 4) and community leaders expressed frustration at the recently announced changes to Calgary’s Light Rapid Transit Green Line.
They were reacting to reports that the Green Line that would be roughly half the length of the original route for an even bigger price tag, effectively excluding a wide swath of suburban communities.
“I think a lot of taxpayers will be asking themselves how this happened,” said Rempel. “Two years ago, I stood with City Councillors in front of a map to announce an LRT project that would stretch from the northernmost reaches of Calgary to its southeastern most point. That is not what is being proposed today. I suspect many suburban Calgarians who are desperate for access to the LRT are going to be asking some pretty tough questions about why they should accept such a massive reduction in scope while the price tag for this project has ballooned. Further, all of this has happened before a shovel has even hit the ground.”
MP Tom Kmiec also voiced concerns on behalf of his community. “People in my riding are not happy. A lot of people who recently purchased homes in my community were told the Green Line would service them by 2024. Under this plan, they were sold a bill of goods. The funding announcement by our former federal government was supposed to ease the transit crisis in my riding. Everyone should be asking, how did this happen?”
City Councillor Sean Chu also expressed his frustration. “I found out about this reduction in scope from media reports on Thursday. This is a huge change from the original plan, and many communities in my Ward are going to be negatively impacted. There has been no consultation with Council on this change. Taxpayers should be outraged that they’re being asked to smile and pick up the tab for it. It would be irresponsible for Council to vote for another cent of taxpayer dollars to be spent on this project until we find out how and why this happened. Frankly, this is ridiculous.”
David Hartwick, a spokesperson for the Northern Hills Community Association, expressed outrage on behalf of residents in his area. “Centre Street cannot accommodate any more busses in the north, and new developments are about to add tens of thousands of new residents to the transit crisis we face. Southeastern suburbs are facing the same challenge. This announcement is just another example of the severely broken system we had to challenge during the Harvest Hills Golf Course redevelopment application. For anyone to say that suburban residents wouldn’t be concerned with this shows just how out of touch some officials have become to suburban needs. All Calgarians should be outraged.”
For more information, please contact:
Dustin Franks, Office of Sean Chu
Sean Schnell, Office of Michelle Rempel
Connor Staus, Office of Tom Kmiec
Leah Argao, President, Northern Hills Community Association