Ottawa – Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa–Orléans and Bob Chiarelli, MPP for Ottawa West–Nepean joined Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and city councillors to mark the commencement of tunnel construction for the Confederation Line Light Rail Transit system, a historic moment for the nation’s capital.
Elected officials teamed up to complete the assembly of the first road header, the heavy machine that will excavate the downtown tunnel and stations. Each placed a steel tooth on to the cutting drum as a symbol of the cooperation between the three levels of government in delivering this city-transforming project.
"We are proud to collaborate with the provincial and municipal governments on this important project," said MP Galipeau. "The Confederation Line will make commuting more convenient and will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, resulting in improved quality of life for families in the area."
"The Government of Ontario is committed to building a stronger, more connected Ontario. The Ottawa LRT project is just one example of how the government is investing in infrastructure to move Ontario forward," said MPP Chiarelli. "This project is creating local jobs, relieving our city’s congestion and most importantly, increasing Ottawa’s and Ontario’s global competitiveness. I would like to thank our municipal and federal partners for their dedication to this project."
For Mayor Jim Watson, the event provided an opportunity to look towards Ottawa’s future. "The Confederation Line is the backbone of our future transportation network," he said. "I’m pleased we have reached this important milestone on our way to removing the bottleneck of buses in the downtown core."
The Confederation Line is a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600million through the Building Canada Fund. The City of Ottawa will also allocate up to $161.5million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $600million. In addition, the City of Ottawa will allocate $287million of Provincial Gas Tax receipts to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.
This project is the first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The 12.5-kilometre electric light rail system replaces existing diesel powered buses, providing rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometre tunnel that will alleviate congestion through the downtown core. For more information, visit ottawa.ca.