Waste? What Waste?

Ottawa taxpayers are wresting with the big questions this week. Which was the bigger waste of money?
Monday’s federal election cost more than $600 million to stage, and has left us with pretty much the same government we had before. 

That price does seem like a bargain though compared to the city’s light rail line. Built at a cost of $2.3 billion in 2019,  it is once again inoperable and will be for weeks yet. Just another in a long series of issues that has me wondering if the train has spent more time out of service than not during the past two years.

Why did Justin Trudeau bother? He had assurances from the NDP they would support his Liberals in parliament. Instead he called an election in hopes of securing a majority. 

He failed. In fact his party received fewer votes than in 2019. His personal likeability, always his strength, suffered on the campaign trail as he frequently came across as angry and self-righteous. Not that he would agree with that assessment – I don’t see him as being very self-aware. He seems to believe the crafted image is reality. 

Ottawa’s political and transit masters also seem to believe they can fix the train, though they don’t seem have a clue what they are going to do next. Billions have been committed to an expansion of a system that isn’t working. Increasingly Ottawans are wondering if the train is even safe to ride after the latest derailment. 

During the election campaign Trudeau started telling voters that if there was a minority they’d have to have another election in 18 months or so (the average lifespan of a minority government). It seemed as if he was trying to scare people into voting for him. That wasn’t as effective as he had hoped. 

Canadians are probably wishing they could get a refund. It is difficult to see $600 million spent on a vanity project that yields nothing new. Though another two years of Justin Trudeau may convince the country that they can do better.

As for doing better with Ottawa’s light rail system, pretty much any transit rider knows the solution. The trains the city bought had never been used before. Anywhere. It should be obvious now they don’t work.
From square wheels (!) To malfunctioning doors to broken axles to multiple derailments (did they not account for snow in the design?), it is obvious these trains need to be replaced. The problem is, who is going to pay? I suspect not the manufacturer.

Ottawa taxpayers are sick and tired of a light rail system that doesn’t work, that appears to have been a huge waste of money. And tyhey have no faith that anything will be done to make it work.

Canadians are upset their money was wasted on a needless election that changed nothing. Think what a $600 million injection would mean to health care! Federal taxes are going up. Municipal taxes are going up.

At some point the people will snap. Some intrepid person, remembering history, is probably thinking right now of building a guillotine.

But they won’t. Canadians are too polite to take such action, no matter how much politicans waste. Our leaders are banking on it.

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