At the time of my decision to cancel the North South LRT was VERY controversial and some say that was the event that encouraged the Jackals to start attacking both me and the tunnel project with every weapon at their disposal. People like Ken Gray of the Ottawa Citizen, and Rob Snow on CFRA still are but I guess they are proven wrong today and for that we should all be happy. This new LRT tunnel system will be a City changer and along with Lansdowne Park and the new Convention Centre will contribute to our quality of life and our economic prospects for the balance of this Century. For this we should all be very happy.
I am both satisfied and a little sad today as I reflect upon the battle that was LRT. I paid dearly for the decision I made to press the reset button on North South LRT in early 2007. Even though pressing the “reset button” was a firm campaign promise that everyone should have expected I had many telling me I was a target of some very pissed off people: some very powerful people !
Some advisors even linked my crazy and quite ridiculous criminal case back to canceling the original North-South LRT plan. After all, they would argue, it ran right through Dalton and David McGuinty’s riding and was embarrassing to their good friend Bob Chiarelli. Some others argued that it hurt an important land developer in the southern part of Ottawa and they would add fuel (money) to the war against me. A major and compelling argument they used was the Provincial Government going outside the Attorney Generals Office to find a private sector lawyer to press the case against me when the regular prosecutors would not press charges. (More about this in my book) That is right , they used a contractor to press ahead with the case against me but by this time I had dug in my heels, kept my head down and said let’s fight this out in court. It was impossible for me to believe anything like that could happen in Canada so I took the fight to them.
When you are right, you fight!
Fortunately the truth, shoddy police work and very wacky evidence served to clear my family name. Some thought that the Jackals expected me to resign and walk away (have they met me?) instead of it even going to court. The argument was that after I was gone they could go back to the old North South LRT plan. Maybe I was naive, maybe I should not have dismissed these arguments my friends were making about the motives of the Jackals but, that was then and now well , today is a happy day since it looks like my plan for a tunnel will go ahead. This is truly great for our City and it is the right thing to do.
Congratulations to City Council for keeping a even keel in the water and thinking long term about our City. You have made us proud.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.