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.