Ontario Liberals promise to pay 50 per cent of Ottawa’s Stage 3 LRT project

Ontario Liberal leader Steven Del Duca is promising to help cover the cost to build light rail transit into Kanata and Barrhaven if he wins the provincial election.

“Fifty per cent of provincial funding for Stage 3 of Ottawa’s regional transit plan is in the platform,” Del Duca told CTV Morning Live Friday morning.”Applying the lessons that have been learned from the previous stages.”

Mayor Jim Watson asked the provincial party leaders last week if they would commit to funding 50 per cent of Stage 3 of LRT funding, extending the Confederation Line into Kanata and Stittsville, and from Baseline Station to Barrhaven Town Centre.

A 2018 study pegged the cost of extending LRT from Moodie Drive to Kanata and Stittsville at $1.8 billion, while a 2020 report estimated running LRT to Barrhaven and separating VIA Rail tracks from transit would cost $3 billion.

Del Duca was in town Friday morning announcing his party’s platform for Ottawa, while also accusing Premier Doug Ford of turning his back on the capital.

The Liberals say if elected, they would build 10,000 new affordable homes in Ottawa over the next 10 years, ensure 26,000 more seniors in Ottawa are supported with the Home Care Guarantee and build the new Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus by 2028.

The PC government has pledged funding to open the new hospital by 2028. 

Del Duca says Ottawa will ensure Ottawa “gets its fair share” under a Liberal government.

“The biggest opponent for the people of Ottawa is in fact Doug Ford himself. In the midst of the most difficult moment that this community has faced in a very long time, Doug Ford chose not to show up,” Del Duca said, noting he visited Ottawa during the Freedom Convoy protest in February.

“I heard the anxiety and the angst from the people living in the downtown area, in particular, small business owners who felt they’d been completely abandoned. Remember, Doug Ford chose to go snowmobiling instead of coming to Ottawa during that occupation.

“So, the people of this city know Doug Ford is not a friend, his local MPPs didn’t show up to do the job that was required either. Ontario Liberals will have Ottawa’s back.”

This is Del Duca’s second trip to Ottawa during the provincial election campaign.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath made her first campaign stop in Ottawa on Tuesday, while Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has not stopped in the capital during the first two weeks of the campaign.

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