Harris demands specifics to Transportation Minister’s high-speed moving targetOctober 21, 2014
Queens Park – Transportation Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris received more of the same smokescreen on high-speed rail details from Minister Del Duca during the first round of questioning at Estimates Committee this morning.
Time and again, when pressed for timelines, progress and supporting reports, the Minister was unable to provide specifics on just when the high-speed rail commitment to Kitchener and beyond would be delivered in full.
“This is a minister of a government that boasts its commitment to transparency and accountability, but when I ask him whether high-speed rail will meet the Liberal’s pre-election commitment of 10 years, we’re told he’s ‘not in a position to provide a timeline’,” Harris said. “If he, as Minister of Transportation is not in that position, then who is?”
A similar story played out when the Minister was faced with Harris’ questions regarding the launch of the project’s required environmental assessment.
“The previous Minister told us the EA would commence this Fall, while the Premier misled us into believing it was already underway,” Harris pointed out. “Today the Minister is contradicting both and indicating we can expect it to start by the end of the year, yet he admits he doesn’t even know how much it will cost – the truth is they have no clue, and we’re all being taken for a ride.”
Harris was also met with further delay when it came to the Minister producing the First Class Partnership pre-feasibility study that government used to provide the basis for the high-speed rail project.
“Here again, we see the same old Liberal government evading transparency and avoiding timeline commitments for transportation and infrastructure projects in our communities,” noted Harris. “Minister Murray announced the report would be released after the election, Premier Wynne committed to make, ‘the information available’ in July, and yet today at Estimates we remain empty-handed – just what is the Minister trying to hide?
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