The Conservative critic of the Pan Am Games, Rod Jackson, put out a press release yesterday tearing into the mismanagement of the UP Express.
Your humble correspondent rarely includes press releases in their entirety, but this is a doozy:
The Union-Pearson Air-Rail Link was designed to be a legacy project which would make travel to Pearson airport cheaper and easier. Instead, its mismanagement by the provincial Liberal government will leave it standing as a legacy to McGuinty-Wynne waste.
“The ARL has been rushed by this government and it has cost Ontarians hundreds of millions in wasted dollars,” said MPP Rod Jackson. “Metrolinx officials have even confirmed that the ARL could have been electrified in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Instead, they’re spending taxpayer’s money twice.”
Estimates suggest that converting rail lines from diesel to electric would take around three years to complete, provided an environmental assessment was in place. Metrolinx currently plans to electrify the ARL by 2017, starting the electrification process in 2015 after the Pan Am Games.
“The Games were awarded in 2009. If electrifying the rail line was a 3-year process, this Liberal government could have easily electrified the line in time for the Pan Am Games, saving themselves from having to spend money on diesel in the first place.”
“This McGuinty-Wynne government clearly stands for two things: red tape and waste. The ARL is a perfect representation of that Liberal ethos.”
“First, red tape turned a 3-year retrofit into an 8-year retrofit. Second, that red tape led directly to the waste of up to $456-million being needlessly spent on the ARL prior to electrification costs in millions.”
“Premier Wynne has demonstrated that she will continue in the footsteps of her predecessor Dalton McGuinty by showing a lack of responsibility in handling the public purse,” concluded Jackson.