Thursday, September 30, 2010

Advance Polls This Weekend

Get out and Vote!
Advance polls are this Saturday, October 2, then Thursday, October 14. The official election is on October 25 which is a Monday this year!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What are your thoughts on waste reduction?

My answer:
Waste reduction is only viable if there is a consumer demand for it. Without one, the potential recyclables go to landfill. Land fills are simply a problem waiting to happen.  I support incineration initiatives such as those adopted by the Swedish who I am told are among the healthiest people in the world.

Why are you running?

My Answer:
Someone has to clear up the mess at City Hall and I believe that I have the experience and the determination required to do it.  While I feel all issues are important, the future of transit is a top priority.  Watson has declared that any other program, either or new or existing, cannot be accommodated or financed as LRT will use up all of Ottawa's money.

Both Watson and O'Brien are endorsing street cars with ugly overhead wires called LRT and taking this approach will bankrupt the City.  I support Bus Rapid Transit which requires only the addition of a downtown tunnel.  BRT will result in a superior system at no cost to the taxpayer given transportation grants already received by both the provincial and federal governments.  My opponents’ position appears to be “to heck with the taxpayer” and this was so financially and morally irresponsible to me that it prompted me to seek office.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Transitway and Light Rail Study

A transitway and Light Rail Study was conducted prior to the design and development of the Rapid Transit System that exists today.  This study called for a grade of not more than 3% to accommodate a future rail system if the need ever arose.  The decision to stay with buses was made for 2 reasons:
-         Cost; and
-         Flexibility.

At this point in the development of our transitway it’s important to note that there have been significant changes in design that enhance buses including Articulated buses and Guided buses.  These enhancements have allowed Ottawa to keep up with the increase in ridership while delivering an excellent and cost effective service.  All this leads me to conclude that in fact there is no need to convert to rail. 

Hellenic Center Mayoral Debate

A great debate format and public function was held at the Hellenic Center today.  I would like to congratulate all who helped organize the event, and feel everyone had an opportunity to view the three Mayoral Candidates as a result of your efforts.

I know my bottom line issue, the only real issue of this campaign, is beginning to sound redundant.  At the cost of receiving negative press coverage for not introducing new and vibrant initiatives, my stance in this election is clear and steadfast.  Money!!!  Money I can save the taxpayers of this city and the money the other candidates would have us waste on a needless venture.

I will not promise what I can't deliver upon.  We have heard these promises before and you deserve better after the long 4 years we have just had to endure.

Unlike the other candidates, I will tell you where we can save money and together we can redirect it into much needed improvements to our city.

Today, AGAIN, I offered to meet Mr. Watson, face-to-face, anywhere of his choosing to debate the issues surrounding his new decision to support Trolley Cars over Bus Rapid Transit.  A fact against fact debate, I feel the citizens of this city deserve.

Again, notwithstanding his devotion to his position on Mr. O'Brien's LRT plan, Mr. Watson has given no indication of his willingness to debate the facts of this issue.

I would leave you all to ponder the following:  If Mr. Watson is so committed to LRT why won't he debate it solely on the facts?  If he is so sure 2.1 billion extra dollars are being well spent on this project, I would think he would like to justify that to the public.

Any Time!!! 
Mr. Watson the citizens you wish to represent await your response, or is this an indication of how you would lead this city? 
Or, Mr. Watson, are you reluctant to discuss your support of Mr. O'Brien's LRT plan because of something we don't know and you don't wish to tell us?

Below is a video of my opening remarks made at the Hellenic Center today and I invite everyone to view it.

Andy Haydon

Monday, September 27, 2010

Downtown Tunnel

I am for the tunnel and against LRT.  I have always seen the need for the downtown tunnel and supported its construction right from the beginning of the origninal transit plan.  There seems to be some misunderstanding because I support buses in the tunnel while I am opposed to the enourmous expense of the LRT proposal. The City itself has said that LRT is not faster than Bus Rapid Transit.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Election is all About Transit

This election is all about Transit!!

O’Brien’s streetcar plan is a giant hoax.

There is no reset button needed! 
There is no need for further deliberations

What is the difference between a street car going though a tunnel with electricity from Ontario Hydro and a bus using battery electricity? 

The cost of electricity is increasing by 50% and in the peak periods will be three times the present cost

Visually BRT and streetcars are similar. 

You can tell the difference however!  One has ugly overhead wires that we got rid of in the 50’s and the other doesn’t.

The Executive Director, Erin Kelly of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, in respect of O’Brien’s 30 year Transit Plan said:

“The system needs to be available to where people live and our fear is, if we don’t accelerate the expansion east & west, the people won’t use the system.” 

She also said,  Ridership will go down because of having to transfer and, in fact, will take more traveling  time.  The first phase of the O’Brien – Watson Plan is going to take at least 10 years and use up all the money – and nothing for going East & West. 

Erin Kelly has it right!

The rail system just doesn’t work!
My plan requires only a bus tunnel and with the Provincial & Federal contribution, the cost to the taxpayers is a guaranteed zero.
Then the 60 million dollars  in gas tax each year can be immediately used for expansion!

Mr. Watson was initially vehemently opposed to the tunnel because it was too expensive, then after knocking on doors and sensing public support, he now supports it. 

I guess it’s great politics but it’s really disingenuous.

I was the first person to realize and identify the need for a downtown bus tunnel. 

Jim, you are making progress – you’re half way there!  Now realize it’s best to go buses.Last week, he spilled the beans – the truth !  He declared “ There is no money available for th  e outer ring road, as all the money is going to LRT

That means, no money for the arts, recreation, affordable housing or roads.

If O’Brien and McGuinty want streetcars, at a per household cost of over $15,000, who is Mr. Watson to disagree?

I again challenge Mr. Watson to a transit debate  - one on one, face to face.

How sad, that Mr. Watson is supporting someone else’s flawed plan rather than one based on fact and evidence.

The most renown economist in North America is Milton Friedman, who declared LRT today is hardly distinguishable from the steam engine of an earlier era.

Randal O’Toole, says ” LRT is a giant hoax that makes contractors rich and taxpayers poor.

Both these politicians will tell you what you want to hear,

I will tell you what you need to know.

If you want more of the same – go for either of them.

If you want spending controls and common sense – go with Haydon

Erin Kelly & LRT Problems

Have your speaker on for the Exectuive Director of Ottawa Chamber of Commerce's comments on LRT!  She's worried.

She sees at least 2 problems that need to be solved before the election.

Friend's Wish

Your,I wish, interests me - I wish too - that the Citizens of Ottawa would wake up and realize that we cannot afford the tram car

Responses to my Risky Business blog

The Seattle Bus Tunnel carries both rail and buses, which is a bit of an operational problem. You are already aware that the Seattle experience is that it takes almost 6 times longer to remove a disabled LRT vehicle. Obviously another LRT vehicle was unabled to removed the disabled vehicle as you suggest. Removing a bus is very easy and as Seattle has indicated they now have a system that removes the disabled bus in less than 10 minutes. No need for sidings!
Bus breakdowns are a function of maintenance of the Seattle Transit Authority. Poor maintenance may be the reason for the breakdowns and that is why maintenance is so important.
In any case, all the future transit technology improvements are in batteries. Already there is a new bus being produced in Colorado that is totally operated on batteries and can go 50 kilometers on a single charge which is recharged in 5 to 10 minutes.
In any case rapid transit buses will ultimately be all battery driven and will command a maintenance priority. I am infomed that they are prototyping a lithium battery that will give over 80 kilometers on a single charge.
Rail technology belongs to a former era.
As the most repsected mass transit expert in North America, Randall O'Toole says: "LRT is a giant hoax that makes contractors rich and taxpayers poor"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Debate Challenge for Jim Watson

Today, at the Kiwanis Club debate held at the Chateau Laurier, I challenged Jim Watson to a face-to-face debate on the sole issue of LRT vs BRT.  If Mr. Watson is so comitted to the Larry O'Brien LRT plan then I think this debate is the VERY least he can do for the tax payers of this city.  One-on-One, Face-to-Face, Fact against Fact!

Before spending Millions of your dollars on a needless venture I would like to provide Mr. Watson with the opportunity of defending his position on this very important, and expensive venture.

I am willing to make myself available, any time, any place of Mr. Watson's choosing.

Today, during the debate, the moderator's first question was:  Why is Andy wrong about LRT?  Not one of the candidates could coherently answer that question. This debate will give Mr. Watson another opportunity to respond.

I, along with the citizens of Ottawa await your response Mr. Watson.  You have my contact information and I look forward to hearing from you.

Please see my remarks, made to the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, below.

Andy Haydon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two Fundamentals in Public Service

There are two fundamentals in public service.  Firstly we must use public funds wisely to meet our needs, not our wants. The second fundamental is to establish our priorities. Choosing Bus Rapid Transit over tram cars (LRT) will free up 1.365 billion dollars.  LRT is a totally unnecessary expense.
Imagine what we could do with these funds.

I am a fiscal conservative – being defined as: you have to generate the financial resources in order to provide the required services.  I am also a liberal social service person who has always supported helping those in need.   My particular interests are persons with disabilities and the homeless.  But, let me say it again:  you can forget obtaining more funds for these worthy projects if you support any candidate who supports LRT.   In fact, the City of Houston, which chose LRT has experienced crushing financial problems and have had to raise their fares – thus further punishing those people at the lower portion of the income scale.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Risky Business

When it comes to buses breaking down, it is important that you compare them to similar occurrences in streetcars (LRT).

For example when a bus broke down in the Seattle Transit Tunnel it took a half an hour to extricate it, whereas it took 3 hours and forty minutes to do the same for a streetcar (LRT) - ironically it was towed out by a bus.

The frequency of breakdowns in high capacity buses is equal to that occurring in streetcars (LRT) according to the American Public Transit Association.

In such emergencies, if the down time is prolonged, buses can relocate on the surface.  Disabled rail vehicles shut down the whole system.  The death and serious injury statistics of LRT are so much higher than buses. The City of Denver is faced with over a billion dollars in extra expenditures to guarantee a so-called “fail-safe” software computer system designed to prevent one street car running into another even though they are using drivers. Yet, another enormous expense for which no finances have been budgeted. 

LRT is risky business!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rail Cars – Life Cycle

The reality is that a rail car has a longer life cycle than a bus.  However, when one factors into the cost of the vehicle, the per passenger cost for LRT is twice the per passenger cost for BRT.    So even with the longer life of a rail vehicle and its much higher capacity, it is much more expensive.
Data source: McCormick, Rankin Corporation for the Greater Toronto Services Board

Monday, September 20, 2010

Andy Tweets With Stuntman Stu

Stuntman Stu asks Andy via Twitter: When can we see a real debate involving you, Watson, Obrien, Doucet and McGuire?

Andy's reply: I would love to have a debate with these gentlemen. A real debate! So far the All Candidates Debates allows only 1 minute to present a platform. They do not want a debate, because I have all the correct information. In the near future I will be challenging them to a Transit debate because we are talking about saving the taxpayer 1.365 billion dollars. No one seems to care! The Ottawa Citizen refuses to inform the public of the overwhelming operational and financial advantages of high capacity, grade separated Bus Rapid Transit.  The streetcar proposal that they call Light Rail, with overhead wires, is exponentially expensive and not required. The LRT will bankrupt the City of Ottawa and stagnate transit expansion for over 10 years.  Does anyone know that we, in Ottawa, presently have the BEST Transit System in North America?  40% better than the next best located in Calgary with an LRT system. Why does the City hide this fact from the public? I guess we want to become the worst Transit system in North America.

The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce has declared that the LRT will lose ridership, by virtue of the fact that riders going East-West will have to transfer. The City says ridership will increase but provides no references to support this assertion. The Toronto Transit Commission says ridership will decrease up to 50%. You have been fed a pack of lies and I have clear cut evidence that this is the case. You have been told that you are getting subways. Both Watson and O'Brien call for spending restraints. They talk about affordability, and yet support a project that is far beyond our ability to pay. In addition LRT is inferior to Bus Rapid Transit in operations and that is why the world is going to Bus Rapid Transit. All that is required for a full system is 735 million dollars for the Transit Bus tunnel. With the other governments' contribution, there is a surplus of 465 Million dollars. Their LRT costs are 2.1 billion dollars, resulting in a deficit of 900 million dollars. My proposal is at NO COST to the taxpayer. 

The public wants lower taxes. 1% on your tax bill generates 10 Million dollars, and you need 900 million. You can do the math. By the way, all the numbers being used are in 2009 dollars. As money traditionally doubles every 7 years, the cost of their project is increasing by 300 million dollars a year--- almost a million dollars a day. It's your money they are wasting! Maybe you should arrange a Haydon- Watson debate. Having a four person debate is not advantageous as both O'Brien and Doucet are LRT. As you know, Randall Denley has declared Watson the winner, so it is up to you to determine the truth. Watson's Campaign Manager says that the reason Watson is supporting LRT is "because the public wants it". Watson says his policy is give the people what they want. I say, tell the people what they need to know. If the public had the facts, instead of the distortions that have been fed to them by an incompetent staff, the public would make the only right decision. The propaganda has been great, the facts have been very well hidden.

A well publicized, minimum one-hour debate, on radio, television, and online is mandatory so that the public can be truly informed.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

LRT Has Fewer Drivers –BUT- -

There is no question whatsoever that LRT requires fewer drivers, however, the other maintenance personnel such as electrical distribution, rail, computer people result in more employees at rates of pay 30 to 35% higher.  Both Edmonton and Calgary have 11% more employees than Ottawa’s bus rapid transit.  As a result, the operating costs of labour for LRT is double that of Bus Rapid Transit.  This is confirmed by the operating statistics from the City of Pittsburg where they have both LRT and BRT and the operating costs for LRT (tram cars) is double that of BRT (buses).

Friday, September 17, 2010

A night off for our community Hockey

As a long time Friday night season ticket holder for the Ottawa 67's Andy attended the pre-season game between the 67's and the Belleville Bulls.

While the outcome of the game was not what we had hoped for, Andy did get a chance to give a cheer with the Ottawa 67’s SixO Power Dancers.  Thanks girls you do a great job.

Go 67’s Go! And thanks to Shane O'Dell (photographer for the SixO Power Dancers) for providing us with the photo.

The Infrastructure Levy – Using Common Sense

At the All Candidates Meeting in Kanata, Watson said he was opposed to the Capital Infrastructure Levy because it would mean he wouldn’t be able to keep his 2.5% tax levy promise. 

O’Brien said he supported the levy.

O'Brien supported the 2% levy in 2007 because, at that point in his tenure as Mayor, he had exhausted the reserves for construction projects (roads, bicycle paths etc...} In 2010, he took it out the levy and this resulted in the city borrowing 20 million dollars to do the necessary work for construction projects. 
The financial planning necessary to control taxes in the future cannot be done on a year-to-year basis.  Keeping taxes down in the short term is a tragic formula for future financial ruin.

For the record, I support the 2% Infrastructure Levy as I am committed to the objective of no more borrowing.

Anyone, representing the taxpayer knows that it’s the right thing to do Without question, becoming debt free is a worthy objective.
Andy Haydon

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Path to Bankruptcy

Mr. Watson has now “officially” stated he is in favour of LRT.  He totally supports Mr. O’Brien’s inconceivable squandering of tax payers’ money.

Wednesday night at the Kanata Chamber of Commerce debate, Mr. Watson informed the audience no other “major” projects could be contemplated, as all resources would be focused on LRT leaving everything else on the sidelines.

What is most interesting about this is that Mr. O’Brien states he can afford both the LRT and the Ring Road proposed for the south of Ottawa.

How are you going to pay for it Mr. O’Brien? 

Is this another of your zero means zero promises? 

In the first 2 mayoral debates, Mr. O’Brien, you stated no new cost initiatives would be considered unless and until equal and reasonable counter cost reductions accompanied such proposals.  Would you mind sharing your cost reduction proposal with us?

Of the 4 “major” candidates seeking the office of Mayor, my proposal is the only one that would allow for such expansion, because BRT would realize an immediate savings of over 465 million dollars.

465 million dollars Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Watson!   Imagine what this city and its citizens could get to improve their lives with the 465 million dollars the two of you want to waste on a needless venture!

Imagine if our citizens had the 50 million dollars Mr. O’Brien wasted in canceling the first LRT proposal?  Imagine what we, the citizens could do with those funds?   Ah!  The imagination goes wild.

465 million dollars may be small change to ex-minister Watson of the McGuinty government or to a business CEO, but I can assure you it is an immense amount of money to the citizens of this great city. 

It is the difference between moving forward towards a pay as you go debt free city or going bankrupt.

I can’t stand idly by and watch the two of you do this to our city.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2nd Mayoral Debate

I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in the 2nd Mayoral debate hosted by the Kanata Chamber of Commerce.  I would like to thank them for this opportunity, and their efforts in organizing the evening.

The turn out of citizens interested in the future of Ottawa was impressive and I am pleased to see that they were willing to take time out of their busy lives to attend this event.

The future of our city depends on your involvement and it was apparent to me that Kanata is taking this election seriously.  This showed in the quality and diversity of your questions.  I for one thank you for your interest.

Below is a video of my opening remarks, available to those of you who were not able to attend.

As always please feel free to leave comments, questions or opinions by selecting the comment button below this post.  You can be assured I will address any issue that may concern you.

Andy Haydon

Light Rail's Hoax

Future of the City of Ottawa  September 15, 2010

There are many important issues facing the future of the City of Ottawa.  The major issue facing us today is mass transit.

Most people think they are getting a subway system.  The proposal is linked streetcars with overhead wires.  Most of the time, only 2 linked cars would be used, not unlike articulated buses.  As for speed, even the City says they are equal. Are you aware that the future rapid transit buses look the same as the tramcars?

The federal and provincial governments will provide a total of 1.2 billion.  My position is simple: Ottawa taxpayers will lose because their money will be wasted on rail when buses will do the same thing for far less.

Bear in mind that the financial numbers provided by the City are in 2009 dollars. Already the streetcar proposal has grown from 2.1 to 2.4 billion - - another 300 million dollars!

Their plan is to use the gas tax to pay for all expenditures above the 1.2 billion,  a sum of 900 million,  which means that any transit expansion will be frozen for well over 10 years. 
If their plan results in cost overruns we are on the hook and  the city’s track record on costs is abysmal!

My bus rapid transit plan is at no cost to the taxpayer and the gas tax can be used for transit expansion.

Are you aware of the recent light rail messes in other North American cities? Look at Denver for example!

Both O’Brien and Watson support street cars.  My proposal has not been considered and I want you, the taxpayer, to make up your mind at the ballot box.  It’s your future.

Don’t believe the baloney that the 1.2 billion dollars can only be used for streetcars.  I have confirmed today that the money is for whatever the next council decides. 

Randle O’Toole, one of the world’s most respected transit experts says: 
“Light rail is a giant hoax that makes rail contractors rich and taxpayers poor.”

Folks, it’s your last chance!

Kanata All Candidates Meeting Tonight

Andy will be at the Kanata All Candidates Meeting, Sept. 15th, from 7pm to 10pm.  It is being held at the Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Drive.  We hope  to see you there.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rob Snow Interview on CFRA

Today I had the opportunity to be on the Rob Snow CFRA Talk Radio Show.

For those who missed hearing this interview I invite you to click on the file below to hear it.

As always I welcome your comments and feedback.

Andy Haydon

Monday, September 13, 2010

1st Mayoral Debate

This evening I participated in the first of the Ottawa mayoral debates to be held during this election.

It was my understanding that all major participants would be granted equal time for comments and rebuttals. While this was the case during the first part of the session, when it came time for questions from the audience it deteriorated into what I perceived to be a two-candidate show.

I was under the impression that during the question and answer section of the debate questions asked by the audience would be answered by only two candidates in turn. As the following questions were posed, the responders would rotate thus giving all a chance to voice their positions on whatever subject the audience chose to inquire about.

What in fact transpired was that the questioner was given the choice of what 2 candidates they wished to hear from and it became a one on one debate between Mr. O’Brian and Mr. Watson.

I feel very strongly that when a debate between candidates is presented to the public it should allow, at least in some small way, for all participants to participate.

As this was quite evidently not the case, I saw little reason to remain and listen to only 2 participants debate the very important issues that face the public during this election.

I look forward to future debates when all views and platforms are given equal billing.

Below please see the video of my opening remarks for this debate and as always I welcome your input in the form of comments on this blog or an email.

Andy Haydon

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Comments on the Sept. 12th Ottawa Citizen’s Column by Joanne Chianello

Haydon’s Comments on the Sept. 12th Ottawa Citizen’s Column by Joanne Chianello

Transit Commission Platform

On Feb. 8th 2007 I sent a memorandum recommending a Transit Commission to Larry O’Brien. Finally, he has accepted my point of view about the absolute need for a Transit Commission. He has missed it by a mile, however, by proposing more outside experts (Consultants?) as members of this Transit Commission. I have always proposed the Commission be composed of 6 or 8 Councillors plus the Mayor. Had this been in place three years ago, this disastrous, long bus strike might have been averted, particularly, in view of the fact that the Union agreed with my proposal. Therefore, of course, as elected Mayor I will immediately form a Commission.


As I said on the Lowell Green’s CFRA show, I have never sent a budget to council without having given it a full critical scrutiny by me. If elected I will continue this long standing and accepted policy. All mayors, I’ve known, do this.
Finally Larry O’Brien realized that he too will now do this. There is no new initiative here!


Mayor O’Brien declared that he wants voters to elect like minded Councillors so he can “Get the job done”. This is the worst possible scenario. Differences of opinions are the backbone of democracy and free speech.
I look forward to working with a diverse group of Councillors who will bring perspective to the table. A Mayor, who has leadership abilities, will welcome this.

Can you imagine 24 Charlotte Whittons??

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Position on Other Issues

Currently contracts and consulting appointments are approved by the bureaucracy and do not even go to Council. This uncontrollable practice is not only costing millions of dollars, but is also irresponsible. All of the above must go through a Council approval process to ensure accountability and transparency to guarantee we are receiving the best bang for our buck.

The outer ring road was removed from the Official Plan by Council. No viable major city fails to have an outer ring road and it is mandatory that it be reinstated as a priority initiative. I have a personal interest in this issue because it was first introduced into the Official Plan by me!

No new programs without a concomitant reduction in other programs!

(a) It is mandatory that we concentrate on fundamental basic municipal issues, serving our needs --- not our wants!
(b) It is also mandatory that we begin to replace borrowing by policies geared towards becoming debt free.
Continued debt is the road to bankruptcy. As you know, you cannot borrow yourself out of debt as the present Council is disposed to do.

Every large government has a cabinet which structures the government's business except the City of Ottawa resulting in a tragic lack of direction, interminable Council meetings and often incorrect decisions. This past Council, in my opinion, is without any leadership whatsoever and has been, according to the media and public, a DISASTER.
It is therefore absolutely IMPERATIVE that an Executive Committee of 6 or 8 Ccouncillors plus the Mayor be established to provide the leadership currentlylacking. The Councillors serving on the Executive Committee would be appointed by the Mayor and be composed of those Councillors who have a commitment to the WHOLE of Ottawa, rather than to a narrow, parochial ward interest.

Please review the memorandum I sent to Mayor O'Brien on February 8th, 2007 recommending a specific committee or commission to administer the everyday operations of OCTRANSPO such as route designation, purchasing and fare structures. The following is a summary of that memorandum:

One of the tragedies of amalgamation was the absorption of OCTRANSPO into the Transportation Governance grid.  OCTRANSPO was always an operation unto itself and it thrived on the fact that it was a family, whereby the Members of the Commission, the Management and the Front Line personnel worked together. Certainly, there were problems with a sometime militant union, but in the end, the family values prevailed. The pride with which every member of OCTRANSPO held near to their hearts was a fundamental part of attaining great productivity and service levels. Even today, you will notice in the obits, that former OCTRANSPO personnel value their working days and contributions to the success of OCTRANSPO by underlining their productive years of service. To all of us, associated with OCTRANSPO, it was a privilege of unique proportions.

It is TIME to return to those benefits to not only OCTRANSPO personnel, but to the residents of the City of Ottawa, by reinventing the past which proved to be so successful.
It is MY RECOMMENDATION that an OCTRANSPO COMMISSION be created, charged with the everyday operations of OCTRANSPO, meeting at the Head Offices ion St. Laurent Blvd, a minimum of once per month, with total authority to operate OCTRANSPO. The Council, of the City of Ottawa would retain responsibility for the Capital and Operating Budgets.

As you know, the former City of Ottawa (prior to amalgamation) let the Lansdowne Facilities rot to the point where the Mayor of the City (Jim Watson) suggested tearing it all down. The Regional Government took over control and the lack of maintenance continued. NOT ONE OUNCE OF INITIATIVE CAME FROM ANY CITY OF OTTAWA ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE.
Not only was 60 million dollars required to fix up the existing facilities, but the citizens had to cover the operational deficits as well.  Fortunately, some local citizens brought forth an exciting initiative that solved the Capital financial mess as well as assumed the operational deficits.
LANSDOWNE is not a local facility -- it is a city wide facility. The persons involved, led by Roger Greenberg are local people with a reputation to uphold and support quality community development.
As such, I am fully in support of Lansdowne Live

Response to Anonymous

On September 10th @ 11:48 AM an anonymous comment was submitted under my “Transit Issues” post which I consider worthy of a prime post response to ensure all will view it.

First, and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for their comments. I believe that open and honest discussions of the issues between all members of our community is the only way we can take back our city and return it to it’s former glory. Furthermore, we can place it in good stead to face the future.

As for the comments I would like to address them one by one:

Comment:  “That will mean up to 700 fewer drivers to pay.”

There is no question whatsoever that streetcars, either two or four, linked together require fewer drivers than buses. However the requirement for specialized personnel to maintain the electrical system, vehicles, rail and computer system, all of whom are paid 25% to 35% more than a driver, result in a higher total personnel cost. For example, both Calgary and Edmonton, with their LRT have 11% more employees at a higher pay rate than Ottawa with its existing BRT. This is further confirmed by the City of Pittsburgh who have both LRT and BRT where the cost of LRT is double that of BRT.

Comment:  “The main issue with a Bus Tunnel is the massive air handling and filtering capacity needed because of the diesel fumes. This will add a cost to the tunnel that will not be needed with LRT…”

With respect to your claim of massive air handling and filtering capacity for BRT in a tunnel, the buses in the tunnel will be battery powered emitting no exhaust whatsoever. The size of the air handling requirements are identical for both LRT and BRT in order to exhaust the fumes from a burning vehicle. You could argue that air handling for BRT is less because the LRT vehicle is much larger and will burn longer.

Comment:  “Mr. Haydon it is nice that you offer your expierence as a former Mayor and Regional Chair however, cutting cost for the sake of cutting cost is the same problem Premier Harris got into.”

I never said I was cutting costs!! My intent is to have us control costs. I want us to go back to basics; pay for our needs, not our wants, reduce borrowing with the objective of becoming debt free.

I proposed no new programs without a concomitant reduction in other programs. For the record, I am opposed to raising recrecational fees. In fact, I propose a program of gradually lowering them so, as you point out, that more families can partake. I never was a fan of Mike Harris.

One final note...There is a bit of a play on words with respect to your comments on Seattle and Calgary. Any extension to an existing LRT should indeed be LRT by virtue of not having to transfer. Transfers in the same direction destroy rider ship (TTC data). In both cities the new separate Urban Transit Line not integrated with existing LRT is BRT.

As we progress through this process we must all remember that in order for this discussion to be meaningful and valuable, I have allowed anyone to enter comments under the “Anonymous” title. I believe this is important as not everyone wants to be identified.

As a result, special interest groups, media and yes-even members of other campaigns may, from time to time enter a comment. I welcome them all. It is only through this process that a real and meaningful conversation about our future can exist.

This is the same open and frank manner in which City Hall and the Office of the Mayor of Ottawa will operate under my leadership. I have accomplished this in the past and it can exist again.

Andy Haydon

Friday, September 10, 2010

Today I Announced My Candidacy

I am proud to announce my candidacy for Mayor of Ottawa.  I made my initial announcement on the Lowell Green Radio Show this morning followed by a news conference at Ben Franklin Place in the afternoon.

I invite you to view this news conference in the two videos below and submit your comments.

Andy Haydon

To See Full Transit Report

Be certain to take a look at my full transit report on my website

Transit Issues

• We in Ottawa are fortunate to have the best transit system system in North America and choosing it requires only the tunnel which is totally paid for by federal and provincial contributions.
• The balance plus the gas tax will allow transit to expand to Stittsville, Manotick and Rockland immediately. No expansion of LRT can occur until after 2020.
• BRT is operational in 5 to 6 years. LRT will take at least 10 years or more.
• LRT, which is in essence streetcars, will squander over 1.4 billion dollars in needless expenditures.
• Calgary is presently LRT, but has chosen BRT for its expansion as has Seattle in the United States
• For those of you who make the effort to conserve energy, imagine the electricity costs of LRT in the peak hours?
• Finally, OC Transpo is mismanaged and must become a commission of elected representatives which will do much to alleviate the morale problems the organization currently faces. OC Transpo used to be a family. It’s time to bring back the family. The present adversarial attitude adopted by the present incumbent is irresponsible

Do You Know....

That to finance the LRT (streetcars) requires $700 million of gas tax over a ten year period, as well as the borrowing of $200 Million Dollars? (2009 dollars)

There is no guarantee that the gas tax will continue for another ten years?

The gas tax is available for other transit projects, rather than be wasted on LRT - if BRT is the chosen technology?

In terms of both the Capital and operating cost and time to complete, High Capacity Grade Separated Bus Rapid Transit is enormously superior than LRT Streetcars?

The proposed tunnel is 10 stories deep and under exhisting buildings? Can you magine how long it will take to retreve people when we have an electric outage? BRT (buses) can be built under the exhisting streets and not as deep. Busses are, becuase they don't use rail, so much more flexible.  In case of an emergency the rail system comes to a dead stop whereas the busses can relocate to the surface.

Freezing rain can bring down the overhead wires for perhaps weeks or months - why risk it!