Transcript: Ottawa's Light Rail Roll-Out | Nov 05, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted gray tie, as well as a red poppy pin.

A caption on screen reads "Ottawa's light rail roll-out. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT'S BEEN A
FRUSTRATING FEW WEEKS FOR OTTAWA
COMMUTERS.
IN SEPTEMBER, THE CITY LAUNCHED
ITS BRAND NEW CONFEDERATION
LIGHT RAIL LINE.
AND IT WASN'T EXACTLY SMOOTH
SAILING, WITH DELAYS, SERVICE
INTERRUPTIONS, AND PACKED
STATIONS IN THE WEEKS SINCE.
WITH HAMILTON, TORONTO AND
MISSISSAUGA ALL SET TO GET THEIR
OWN LIGHT RAIL SYSTEMS IN THE
COMING YEARS, OTTAWA'S EXAMPLE
COULD OFFER SOME HELPFUL LESSONS
FOR US ALL.
WITH US NOW FOR MORE ON THAT, IN
THE NATION'S CAPITAL:
JOANNE CHIANELLO, SHE IS CITY
AFFAIRS ANALYST WITH CBC OTTAWA.

Joanne is in her fifties, with shoulder-length straight black hair. She's wearing a red blazer and a white shirt.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO:
SHERENA HUSSAIN, ASSISTANT
PROFESSOR OF INFRASTRUCTURE IN
THE SCHULICH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
AT YORK UNIVERSITY.

Sherena is in her thirties, with long wavy brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a printed blouse and a red poppy pin.

Steve continues WE ARE DELIGHTED, SHEER REENA, TO WELCOME YOU HERE FOR THE
FIRST TIME, AND JOANNE, IT'S
BEEN WAY TOO LONG.
GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK ON THE
AIRWAVES.

Joanne says GREAT TO BE BACK ON "THE AGENDA."

Steve says WE WANT TO SHOW
SOMETHING THAT HAS GONE VIRAL IN
OTTAWA.
SHELDON, DO YOU WANT TO BRING
THIS UP?
THIS HAS BEEN TRENDING ALL OVER
SOCIAL MEDIA.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "October 9, 2019."
In the clip, a white-haired man in his fifties stands in a crowd looking baffled as he spins around in confusion.

Steve says THIS POOR GUY.
LOOK AT THE EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE.
HE JUST IS COMPLETELY BEFUDDLED
AT THE JUST TEEMING MASSES OF
HUMANITY THAT HAVE BEEN LINING
UP AS A RESULT OF ALL OF THE
PROBLEMS THE OTTAWA LRT HAS BEEN
HAVING LATELY.
WE WANT TO FOLLOW THAT UP BY
READING THIS TWEET.
THIS IS FROM A FELLOW NAMED
MATTHEW PEARSON WHO WRITES ON TWITTER...

A tweet by Matthew Pearson appears on screen that reads "ON AN EASTBOUND LRT TRAIN RIGHT NOW. THE DOORS IN THE BACK HALF OF THE TRAIN REFUSE TO OPEN AT PARLIAMENT STATION SO EVERYONE IN THAT PART OF THE TRAIN HAD TO STAY ON BOARD FOR AN EXTRA STOP. DOORS OPENED PROPERLY AT RIDEAU. Hashtag Ottnews."

Steve says THERE HAVE BEEN... WELL, WHAT'S
THE METAPHOR WE SHOULD USE HERE,
JOANNE.
IT'S BEEN A BUMPY RIDE.
DO YOU WANT TO BRING US UP TO
DATE ON WHAT'S GOING ON?

The caption changes to "Joanne Chianello. CBC Ottawa."
Then, it changes again to "A bumpy start."

Joanne says ABSOLUTELY.
THIS IS A PROJECT SEVEN YEARS IN
THE MAKING.
IN FACT I WAS AT THE COUNCIL
MEETING BACK IN DECEMBER OF 2012
WHEN THIS CONTRACT WAS APPROVED,
AND, YOU KNOW, LIKE EVERY BIG
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT, I'M SURE
SHERENA WILL TELL US ALL ABOUT
THAT.
IT WAS DELAYED.
IT'S BEEN MORE THAN A YEAR LATE
OPENING.
BUT FINALLY IN SEPTEMBER, IT DID
OPEN.
IT WAS SORT OF A CEREMONIAL
OPENING, AND THAT WAS SUPER
EXCITING.
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE RODE IT ON A
SATURDAY.
IT SEEMED VERY UNOTTAWA-LIKE.
SUDDENLY WE HAD THIS BIG-CITY
LRT WITH AN UNDERGROUND TUNNEL,
AND THEN FOR THE FIRST THREE
WEEKS, IT WAS BUSY, BUT IT WAS
OKAY, BECAUSE THE CITY ACTUALLY
RAN A PARALLEL BUS SERVICE FOR
THREE WEEKS.
YOU KNOW, THE SAME BUS SERVICE
WE'VE BEEN HAVING.
NOW, EVERYTHING STARTED TO
HAPPEN AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS
MONTH... I'M SORRY, AT THE
BEGINNING OF LAST MONTH, ABOUT
OCTOBER 6TH, ALMOST EXACTLY A
MONTH AGO.
THE BUSES CAME OFF.
THE NEW SYSTEM SORT OF ON ITS
OWN.

The caption changes to "Joanne Chianello, @jchianello."

Joanne continues THEN WE STARTED TO SEE PROBLEMS.
YOU KNOW, YOU SAW THAT POOR
GUY... THAT GUY IS I THINK THE
MASCOT FOR OTTAWA NOW.
A LOT OF TRANSIT RIDERS FEEL
LIKE THAT GENTLEMAN.
AND THAT IS, WE GOT BOTH
OVERCROWDING, BECAUSE THE WAY
THE BUS SYSTEM WAS FEEDING INTO
THE LRT.
BUT ALSO MORE ALARMINGLY, WE'VE
HAD SOME TECHNICAL ISSUES WITH
THE TRANSIT.
PEOPLE JUST DON'T REALLY EXPECT
FROM A BRAND NEW SYSTEM.
YOU KNOW, ONE OF OUR INTREPID
REPORTERS AT CBC HERE, HE'S BEEN
KEEPING A LIST.
THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 15
INSTANCES OF DELAYS OF MORE THAN
HALF AN HOUR IN THE LAST MONTH
AND OF COURSE WHEN THE TRAIN IS
DELAYED HALF AN HOUR, THE
PASSENGERS, YOU KNOW, THERE'S
BACKLOG, AND THEY'RE DELAYED A
LOT MORE THAN THAT.
IT'S NOT BEEN WHAT PEOPLE WERE
HOPING FOR.

Steve says INDEED.
SHERENA, CAN YOU TELL US, ARE
THESE THE TYPICAL KINKS THAT
HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT?

The caption changes to "Sherena Hussain. York University."

Sherena says ESPECIALLY WHEN WE'RE DEALING
WITH LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT IN AN
EXISTING URBAN AREA, ABSOLUTELY.
IT'S ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATING
EXPECTATIONS, THE NOTION THAT
THIS IS A BRAND NEW LRT THAT'S
COMING DOWN THE LINE.
100 PERCENT OF THE TIME IT'S NOT
GOING TO BE READY FOR SERVICE,
AT LEAST ACCORDING TO THE
EXPECTATION OF THE END USERS, AT
LEAST IN THE FIRST FEW MONTHS.
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN
DONE ACROSS MANY INFRASTRUCTURE
PROJECTS.
LRT JUST BEING ONE EXAMPLE.
BUT THAT BEING SAID, AND I THINK
IT WAS MENTIONED BEFORE, ABOUT
LOOKING AT THE IDEA THAT PULLING
BUS SERVICE AFTER THREE WEEKS
UNDER THIS IMPRESSION THAT
EVERYTHING WILL GO ACCORDING TO
PLAN, I THINK THAT'S A KEY
LESSON LEARNED HERE.
YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL
THE WEATHER CHANGED, FOR
EXAMPLE.
PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY USING THE
TRAIN TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THE
DOORS WILL IN FACT OPEN AND
CLOSE WHEN YOU OTHERWISE WANT
THEM TO.

Steve says EXCUSE ME.
IF YOU'RE WATCHING RIGHT NOW
FROM, SAY, MISSISSAUGA OR
HAMILTON OR SOME OF THE LOCAL
POLITICIANS RIGHT HERE IN THE
CAPITAL CITY, IS THE IDEA... I
MEAN, EVERYBODY IS EXCITED WHEN
A NEW LRT OPENS.
A BILLION DOLLARS.
IT'S A HUGE INFRASTRUCTURE
PROJECT.
BUT DAMPEN EXPECTATIONS OFF THE
TOP; IS THAT YOUR ADVICE?

The caption changes to "Sherena Hussain, @RenaHussain1."

Sherena says I THINK IT'S MORE SO ABOUT...
YES, DAMPEN EXPECTATIONS, BUT
ALSO BEING WILLING TO
COMMUNICATE.
I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
OTTAWA IS LEARNING THE HARD WAY
WHEN IT COMES TO BEING ABLE TO
COMMUNICATE WITH THE PRIVATE
COUNTER-PARTY, BEING ABLE TO
COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR TAXPAYERS
BUT ALSO WITH THE END USERS.
WHEN WE LOOK AT HERE IN ONTARIO,
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT
PROJECTS ARE ON THE WAY.
WE MENTION THAT IN TORONTO,
WHETHER IT'S EGLINTON, FINCH,
HURONTARIO, THERE'S A LOT COMING
DOWN THE PIPELINE.
WHAT DO WE MEAN SPECIFICALLY IN
TERMS OF RIDERSHIP?
ARE WE LIKELY TO GET FROM POINT
A TO POINT B IN THE TIME
ALLOTTED?
HAVE A PARALLEL BUS SERVICE
UNTIL WE CAN RAISE THE
EXPECTATION AND HAVE COMFORT
THAT WE'RE ABLE TO GET TO WHERE
WE WANT TO GO ACCORDING TO
HOWEVER THE CONTRACT HAS
SPECIFIED WE WILL GET THERE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says GOTCHA.
JOANNE, I NOTICED IN YOUR LAST
PIECE THAT MAYOR WATSON IN
OTTAWA... WHAT DO YOU WANT TO
DESCRIBE IT AS?
THAT'S IT.
HE'S HAD A TEMPER TANTRUM ABOUT
THE FACT THAT THE THING HASN'T
GONE ACCORDING TO HOYLE.
YOU SUGGEST IT SHOULD HAVE
HAPPENED A FEW MONTHS AGO.

The caption changes to "Anger and fury."

Joanne says I'VE BEEN ON THIS STORY,
ACTUALLY AS I MENTIONED EARLIER,
ABOUT SEVEN YEARS... ACTUALLY
EARLIER THAN THAT.
THESE THINGS TAKE FOREVER TO
PLAN.
TEN YEARS I'VE BEEN COVERING
THIS LRT PROJECT.
AND IN THE LAST YEAR WE'VE
BROKEN HERE AT CBC LOTS OF
STORIES ABOUT ISSUES THAT HAVE
BEEN HAPPENING BEHIND THE
SCENES, TO SHERENA'S POINT,
PEOPLE DO NOT ACTUALLY TALK
ABOUT THOSE AT THE CITY, RIGHT?
IS SO WE'VE HAD REPORTS THAT
THERE MIGHT BE ISSUES WITH
WINTER RELIABILITY AND WE'RE NOT
SURE HOW THAT IS GOING TO WORK
OUT WITH THE WINTER MONTHS
COMING UP.
WE HEARD ISSUES THAT THERE WERE
PROBLEMS WITH THE DOORS.
THERE HAVE BEEN PROBLEMS WITH
SWITCHES.
PROBLEMS WE'RE NOW SEEING AGAIN
NOW.
BUT MY BIG PROBLEM I THINK WITH
THE MAYOR AND WITH THE CITY'S
ACCOUNTABILITY AND SORT OF
GOVERNANCE POINT OF VIEW, WHICH
IS THE THING THAT I'M LOOKING
AT, IS THAT WE WENT THROUGH
TESTING PHASES.
WE WENT THROUGH A TRIAL RUN.
AND THIS CITY ACCEPTED THE
TRAIN, WE ACCEPTED OWNERSHIP OF
IT BEFORE I BELIEVE WE SHOULD
HAVE.
FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE CONTRACT
IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT THE SYSTEM
WAS SUPPOSED TO RUN FOR 12
CONSECUTIVE DAYS, AS IF IT WAS
OPERATING ON A REGULAR SCHEDULE.
AND WE HEARD THIS MANY, MANY
TIMES FROM THE TRANSIT G.M. HERE
WHO SAID, ABSOLUTELY,
NEAR-PERFECT SYSTEM 12 DAYS IN A
ROW.
AND IN THE END, IT DIDN'T RUN 12
DAYS IN A ROW.
THEY HAD SOME REPEAT DAYS IN
THERE.
WE'VE ASKED REPEATEDLY OVER THE
LAST FEW MONTHS, WHAT WERE THOSE
REPEAT DAYS ABOUT?
WHAT WERE THE PROBLEMS?
WE HAVE NO ANSWERS AT ALL.
AND SO I THINK THAT IS THE
PROBLEM.
THAT'S WHERE THE MAYOR HAS TO
COME IN... HE'S NOT AN ENGINEER,
IT'S NOT AS IF HE HAS TO FIX THE
TRAIN.
BUT IF IT ISN'T WORKING AS IT
SHOULD BE, IT'S A BRAND NEW
SYSTEM, YOU DO EXPECT SOME
BUMPS, BUT YOU DON'T EXPECT THE
DOORS NOT TO BE WORKING EVERY
OTHER DAY AND YOU EXPECT TO BE
ABLE TO GET TO WORK ON TIME MOST
DAYS.
I THINK THAT IS THE ISSUE THAT
THIS CITY COUNCIL IS FACING AS I
SAY FROM AN ACCOUNTABILITY POINT
OF VIEW.

Steve says SHERENA, WAS IT A
MISTAKE NOT TO RUN THOSE TRAINS
FOR 12 STRAIGHT UNINTERRUPTED
DAYS AS WAS IN THE CONTRACT,
THAT IS PART OF WHAT WAS THE DUE
DILIGENCE OF ALL THIS, WAS IT A
MISTAKE NOT TO DO THAT BEFORE
OPENING THE DOORS?

The caption changes to "Testing and fine-tuning."

Sherena says WE HAVE THE BENEFIT OF
HINDSIGHT TO KNOW IT WAS IN FACT
A MISTAKE IN ORDER TO BEING ABLE
TO BETTER APPRECIATE WHAT
DEMANDS WILL BE LIKE WHEN WE IN
FACT RUN THE SERVICE DAY IN AND
DAY OUT, DURING RUSH-HOUR, IN
WHICH MANY INDIVIDUALS WITHIN
OTTAWA RELY UPON THE LRT SYSTEM
TO GET TO AND FROM WORK, TO GET
TO SCHOOL, AND TO OTHERWISE PLAN
THEIR DAYS.
SO THAT IS... IN MANY WAYS WE
CAN SAY IT WAS A MISTAKE.
IF YOU STOP AND PUT YOURSELF IN
THE POSITION OF OTTAWA'S
LEGISLATORS AT THAT TIME OR EVEN
THE CONTRACT MANAGER, IT'S THIS
NOTION THAT THE LRT WAS LATE
FOR, YOU KNOW, ON SEVERAL TIMES
FOR SEVERAL DIFFERENT REASONS.
SO THE IDEA IS TRYING TO BALANCE
IS MAYBE 10 DAYS OF CONTINUOUS
SERVICE IN ORDER TO THEN ALLOW
THIS LRT TO THEN GET SOME
REAL-WORLD EXPOSURE BY VIRTUE OF
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE.
SO I THINK THERE WAS SOME
BALANCING THAT HAPPENED THERE.
QUITE FRANKLY, WE WON'T
NECESSARILY KNOW UNTIL THAT
INFORMATION BECOMES PUBLIC.
BUT IN THE MEANTIME, IF YOU'RE
OPERATING THE SYSTEM, SAY, FOR
METROLINX HERE IN THE GTA AND
YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT THE
EGLINTON LRT OR THE FINCH LRT,
YOU'RE GOING TO WANT TO TAKE A
LOT OF INTERESTING TAKE-AWAYS
FROM THIS EXPERIENCE, NAMELY
THAT IS 12 CONSECUTIVE DAYS
ENOUGH?
MAYBE WE NEED MORE?
MAYBE WE NEED TESTING OVER
DIFFERENT WEATHER PATTERNS.
OTTAWA HAS YET TO TRULY SEE SOME
WINTER WEATHER.

Steve says THE WORST IS YET TO COME.
WE KNOW THAT.
YES, INDEED.
JOANNE, CAN YOU TELL US WHETHER
OR NOT... I KNOW EVERYBODY IS
DISAPPOINTED WITH THE FACT IT
HASN'T GONE ACCORDING TO HOYLE
SO FAR.
HAVE YOU HUNDRED INTO ANYBODY
WHO SAID I'M SO DISAPPOINTED,
I'M NEVER GOING TO RIDE THE LRT AGAIN?

Joanne says WE HEARD SOME PEOPLE ARE
GETTING CARS... ACTUALLY ON THE
RADIO THIS WEEK WE HAD A PANEL
OF RIDERS, THEY'RE ACTUALLY
LONG-TIME BUS RIDERS, THEY USED
TO TAKE AN EXPRESS BUS DOWNTOWN.
THOSE EXPRESS BUSES ARE NOW
CANCELLED.
THEY ARE ACTUALLY THINKING ABOUT
POOLING THEIR MONTHLY PASSES,
THE MONEY THAT THEY SPENT ON
THEIR MONTHLY PASSES, WHICH BY
THE WAY ARE ABOUT TO GO UP
AGAIN... THEY WENT UP EARLIER
THIS MONTH AND NOW THEY'RE SET
TO GO UP AGAIN IN JANUARY, SO
PEOPLE ARE FURIOUS ABOUT THAT.
THEY'RE THINKING THEY'RE GOING
TO TAKE THAT MONEY, INSTEAD OF
BUYING A PASS, THEY'RE GOING TO
POOL IT INTO A MINIVAN SERVICE
TO POOL THEM DOWNTOWN.
THIS IS HOW FRUSTRATED PEOPLE
ARE BECOMING.

Steve says I MAY NOT TOTALLY BE
UP TO SPEED ON THIS.
IS IT GOING TO BE 3 dollars 60 FOR A
SINGLE FARE RIDE ON TRANSPO?

Joanne says THAT SOUNDS A LITTLE BIT HIGH
TO ME.
I DON'T HAVE IT RIGHT NOW IN
FRONT OF ME.
IF YOU HAVE A PRESTO PASSION,
IT'S A LITTLE BIT LOWER THAN
THAT.
IT IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST SINGLE FARES.

Steve says IT'S HIGHER THAN THE
TTC, WHICH SURPRISED ME WHEN I
SAW THAT.
TELL US, SHERENA, THIS IS YOUR
BUSINESS.
OBVIOUSLY BUILDING AN LRT IS A
MASSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT.
WE HAVE ONE GOING IN 100 YARDS
NORTH OF THIS STUDIO RIGHT NOW,
THE EGLINTON CROSSTOWN, WHICH IS
STILL PROBABLY A COUPLE OF YEARS
AWAY FROM BEING DONE AND I THINK
IT'S A 6 BILLION dollar LINE.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE.
GOES, YOU KNOW, ALONG THE
GROUND, UNDERGROUND.
IT'S A HUMONGOUS CONSTRUCTION
PROJECT.
CAN YOU FILL US IN ON SOME OF
THE... OBVIOUSLY IT'S JUST
EVERYBODY EVERY DAY HERE AND WE
DON'T EVEN... AT SOME POINT WE
DON'T EVEN NOTICE THAT IT'S
GOING ON ANYMORE.
WHAT DON'T WE SEE THAT'S
HAPPENING THAT MAKES THESE
THINGS, YOU KNOW, EVENTUALLY
COME TO FRUITION?

The caption changes to "Lessons from Canada's capital city."

Sherena says THERE'S A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT
OF RISK.
THIS IS A TERM THAT'S USED IN
PRACTICE, NAMELY, BUILDING
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IS RISKY
BECAUSE THERE'S THE NOTION OF
NOT QUITE KNOWING HOW
STRUCTURALLY SOUND THE GROUND IS
ONCE YOU START DIGGING.
AND IN OTTAWA, THERE WERE SOME
SINKHOLES THAT APPEARED.
SOME GEOTECHNICAL RISK
MANIFESTED.
THERE'S ALSO THE IDEA OF
UNDERSTANDING HOW TRANSPORTATION
PATTERNS MIGHT ADJUST IF YOU
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT CERTAIN
ROADWAYS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE
TO STAGE CONSTRUCTION.
SO THAT CAN ADD SOMETIMES TO
YOUR CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE.
SO THAT'S A CONSTRUCTION
SCHEDULING RISK.
THERE'S ALSO THIS IDEA OF USING
A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP ON
MANY OF THESE LRTs WHICH
THEY'RE INTRODUCING A WHOLE HOST
OF ADDITIONAL FINANCING RISK ON
THE PRIVATE SECTOR WHO IS THEN
GOING TO DEAL WITH THE DESIGN,
THE FINANCING, MAINTENANCE, AND
POSSIBLY EVEN... TO YOUR WISE
OVERSEE THIS PROJECT.
IT'S THE IDEA OF TRYING TO SHIFT
THAT RISK TO A PARTY WHO AT THE
TIME THE GOVERNMENT THINKS WOULD
BE IN THE BEST POSITION TO
MANAGE THAT.

Joanne says CAN I SAY, THOUGH, IN P3s,
THOUGH, YES, WE TAKE ON MORE
RISK BUT WE PAY A LOT MORE THAN
THAT.
IN OTTAWA WE'RE PAYING FOR A
30-YEAR MAINTENANCE PLAN THAT IS
DOUBLING THE COST OF THE
PROJECT.
THE CONSORTIUM BUILDING IT HAS
PUT A LOT MORE RISK IN IT.
THEN THEY HAVE A 30-YEAR
CONTRACT THAT'S WORTH ANOTHER
2 BILLION dollars.
SO THE CITY IS ACTUALLY PAYING
MORE MONEY UPFRONT FOR THAT.
SO THE RISK IS ACTUALLY... I
THINK THE RISK IS ON BOTH SIDES.
I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT THAT
GOVERNMENTS THINK THAT IT IS
LESS RISKY FOR THEM IN THE FRONT
END, BUT IN THE END, I'M NOT
SURE THAT IS ACTUALLY TRUE.
DO YOU THINK IT IS?
DO YOU NOT THINK THAT THE
CITY... OR GOVERNMENTS ARE STILL
TAKING A RISK WITH P3s?

Sherena says I THINK THEY'RE STILL VERY
MUCH IN THE SITUATION OF
REALIZING YOU CAN'T PASS RISK
OFF AND ASSUME THAT'S A TURNKEY
SOLUTION AND YOU CAN WIPE YOUR
HANDS OF IT.
IT'S VERY MUCH A LONG-TERM
CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT THAT HAS
TO BE MONITORED, AND WHEN, FOR
EXAMPLE, A PRIVATE SECTOR
CONSORTIUM CANNOT RELIABLY
DELIVER A SERVICE, WHO ARE THE
END USERS GOING TO COME BACK AND
POINT FINGERS TO?
THEY'RE GOING TO POINT FINGERS
AT OC TRANSPO.
I THINK INCREASINGLY WHEN WE'RE
DEALING WITH PROJECTS OF THIS
MAGNITUDE THAT IMPACT SO MANY
PEOPLE AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT, IT'S
NOW A LEARNING CURVE FOR
GOVERNMENTS HERE IN ONTARIO BUT
ALSO ACROSS CANADA TO RECOGNIZE
THAT TRANSFERRING RISK ISN'T
NECESSARILY ONE IN WHICH YOU CAN
JUST PUT A PRICE TAG TO.
YOU HAVE TO ACTIVELY MANAGE THAT
RELATIONSHIP.

Steve says JOANNE, LET'S FOLLOW
UP ON THAT.
AGAIN, ONE OF THE REASONS WE
WANT TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION
IS, IN TORONTO, IN HAMILTON, IN
AMALGAMATE, THE HURONTARIO LINE,
YOUR PRESENT IS THEIR FUTURE.
WE WANT TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY
LESSONS THAT CAN BE LEARNED
HERE.
LET'S START WITH THIS.
PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS, JOANNE,
DID YOU HAVE MANY IN OTTAWA AS
REGARDS THE LRT?

Joanne says WE DID, ACTUALLY, QUITE A FEW
OF THEM.
I HAVE TO GIVE THE CITY SOME
CREDIT.
AT SOME POINT THEY WERE GOING TO
RUN TONS OF BUSES ALONG ONE
STREET, THEY WIDENED THAT
STREET, MOVED SOME BUSES OFF AND
IT ENDED UP BEING A LOT BETTER
MORE RESIDENTS.
BUT THAT WAS AN EXTRA COST TO
THE CITY.
IT WAS NOT PART OF THE ORIGINAL
CONTRACT SO ANY OF THESE
ADDITIONS ARE EXTRA COSTS TO THE
CITY.
THAT WAS ONE AREA WHERE THE CITY
DID THE RIGHT THING, IT LISTENED
TO THE PEOPLE, BUT ON THE OTHER
HAND, IT DID COST MONEY.
YOU KNOW, THOSE CONSULTATIONS
WERE SO LONG AGO, YOU KNOW, FOR
THE PROJECT ITSELF.
I THINK NOW WHAT WE'RE HEARING
IS PEOPLE HAVE NOT BEEN
CONSULTED ON HOW THE BUSINESS
SYSTEM WORKS.
BECAUSE PART OF THIS... WE'RE
WAY BEHIND THE REST OF THE
CITIES IN ONTARIO THAT ALREADY
HAD SOME RAIL.
THIS IS OUR FIRST... I SHOULDN'T
SAY THAT.
WE DO HAVE A NORTH-SOUTH RAIL,
DIESEL LINE.
BUT THIS IS OUR FIRST EAST-WEST
LINE.
AND WE HAVE ALL OF THESE FEEDER
BUSES THAT USED TO GO RIGHT
DOWNTOWN.
NOW THEY'RE GOING INTO THE THREE
DIFFERENT STATIONS.
WE HAVE ALL THESE BUSES SORT OF
POURING EVERYBODY INTO THESE END
STATIONS, SO YOU CAN IMAGINE,
EVEN IF THERE'S A TEN-MINUTE
DELAY, THE BACKLOG OF BUSES AT
THESE STATIONS IS LARGE.
AND SO I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF
PEOPLE RIGHT NOW, THERE'S A BIG
PUSH FOR PEOPLE TO SAY, WE WANT
TO BE CONSULTED ABOUT HOW WE USE
OUR BUS SYSTEM IN CONJUNCTION
WITH THIS NEW LRT.
THERE'S A PLAN TO EXPAND IT.
UNTIL THAT HAPPENS FIVE YEARS
FROM NOW, HOW IS THIS GOING TO
WORK?
CAN YOU PLEASE TALK TO US?
WE USE THESE BUSES EVERY DAY.
WE NEED TO GET TO SCHOOL, WE
NEED TO GET TO EXAMS, WE NEED TO
GET TO WORK.
WE THINK WE HAVE SOME EXPERTISE.
TOMORROW THERE'S A BIG MEETING
WHERE ONE OF THE COUNCILLORS IS
GOING TO PROPOSE JUST THAT.

Steve says SHERENA, WHO KNOWS,
THERE MAY BE SOME LAWSUITS AS A
RESULT OF THIS.
AGAIN, FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE
CITY COUNCILS, IS THAT SOMETHING
YOU WANT TO KEEP IN YOUR BACK
POCKET, MAYBE SUING THE PEOPLE
WHO AT THE END OF THE DAY
COULDN'T GET THE DOORS OPEN ON
THESE LRTS?

Sherena says YOU CAN DEFINITELY EXPECT
THERE'S GOING TO BE SOME FORM OF
AT LEAST A NEGOTIATION, MAYBE
ESCALATING TO LITIGATION, THAT
RELATES TO LARGE PROJECTS SUCH
AS THE OTTAWA LRT.
AND THAT'S ON THE BASIS THAT
UNDERLYING A PUBLIC-PRIVATE
PARTNERSHIP LIKE THIS ARE VERY
STRUCTURED CONTRACTUAL
RELATIONSHIPS.
IF THIS WERE TO HAPPEN, YOU ARE
THE PARTY RESPONSIBLE AND YOU'RE
GOING TO COMPENSATE ME.
AND IT GOES ON BOTH ENDS.
THAT BEING SAID IN A PROJECT
LIKE OTTAWA, WHETHER THE DOORS
WERE OPENING, WHETHER IT WAS
DELAYED FOR SEVERAL YEARS, THERE
IS THIS IDEA THAT THERE WOULD BE
A NEGOTIATION, TO RECONCILE WHO
OWES WHAT AND WHO IS RESPONSIBLE
AT THE END OF THE DAY.
BUT ALSO YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER,
THIS IS A 30-PLUS-YEAR
CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT, SUCH
THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ENGAGE
IN LITIGATION ON WHAT HAPPENED
DURING CONSTRUCTION, BUT YOU'RE
STILL IN MANY WAYS MARRIED...

Steve says THEY'RE STUCK WITH
EACH OTHER FOR A WHILE.
JOANNE, GO AHEAD.

Joanne says IN OTTAWA, ACTUALLY, WE HELD
BACK 60 MILLION dollars OF COSTS THAT
WE THOUGHT WERE OWED, THAT THE
CONSORTIUM SHOULD PICK UP
BECAUSE OF DELAYS, AND BECAUSE
WE'RE PAYING THAT 4 and a half MILLION DOLLAR MAINTENANCE FEE
EVERY MONTH, THE DOORS ARE
OPENING?
WE'VE HELD BACK 2.8 MILLION dollars
EVERY MONTH.
THERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN DO THAT
TO SORT OF PROTECT YOURSELF
FINANCIALLY.
WE FULLY EXPECT THE CONSORTIUM
TO ACTUALLY SUE US FOR THAT
MONEY.
AS WELL, I'M NOT SURE THE END
USER... I MEAN, THERE IS SOME
TAXPAYER PROTECTION.
WHAT THEY REALLY WANT IS A
TRANSIT SYSTEM THAT WORKS,
RIGHT?
THEY'D LIKE TO SEE MORE
OVERSIGHT.
I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE BIG
ISSUES TOO IN THESE PROJECTS.
YES, YOU GIVE IT TO A BIG
TECHNICAL COMPANY, COMPANIES AND
CONSORTIUMS THAT BUILD THESE
THINGS.
BUT IN THE END, THEY ARE GIVING
IT OVER TO THE CITY.
THE CITY'S GOING TO RUN IT,
USUALLY.
WHAT OVERSIGHT DO THEY HAVE
WHILE THAT PROJECT IS BEING
BUILT?
THAT'S ONE OF THE KEY TAKE-AWAYS
WE HAVE HERE IN OTTAWA.

Steve says IN OUR LAST MINUTE,
JOANNE, SORT OF... OKAY, I'M
GOING TO MAKE THIS AWFUL PUN.
LET'S FIND OUT IF THERE'S ANY
LIGHT AT THE END OF THIS TUNNEL
HERE AND HOW LONG DO THEY EXPECT
IT TO TAKE FOR THE THING TO
OPERATE TICKEDY BOO?

The caption changes to "Light at the end of the tunnel."

Joanne says WE HAVE AN UPDATE TOMORROW.
IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO HEAR
WHAT THE CITY TELLS US.
YOU TALK ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS.
THEY'VE BEEN NOT GREAT AT
TELLING US WHAT THE ISSUES ARE.
HOWEVER, I UNDERSTAND FROM SOME
ENGINEERS AND OTHER SOURCES I
HAVE PERSONALLY IN THE LRT AREA
THAT, YOU KNOW, IT COULD BE A
LONG TIME BECAUSE SOMETIMES
THESE THINGS ARE COMPLICATED
SYSTEMS.
THEY'RE, YOU KNOW, SUB-SYSTEMS
THAT, YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY'RE NOT
WORKING WELL, THEY JUST SHUT THE
TRAIN DOWN FOR SAFETY.
SO WHO KNOWS WHERE THE PROBLEMS
ARE?
WE COULD BE LOOKING AT MONTHS
BEFORE IT ACTUALLY IS PERFECT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Katie O'Connor, @KA_OConnor; Student Intern, Justin Bellmore."

Steve says WE SHALL STAY ON TOP
OF IT.
THAT'S JOANNE CHIANELLO, CITY
AFFAIRS JOURNALIST WITH CBC
OTTAWA, AND.
Sherena Hussain, THE
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF
INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE SCHULICH
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS.
GREAT HAVING YOU ON TVO TONIGHT.

Joanne says THANK YOU.

Sherena says THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Watch: Ottawa's Light Rail Roll-Out