First, THANK YOU to the Province and the Federal government for the biggest grants ever given to the Region. 300 million from the province and 265 million from the feds. Unfortunately it leaves us around 225 million short. This could translate into a between 7 and 12 percent rise in property tax in one year. I can’t accept that, it’s too high a rise. The rest of council also feels the same. I also, due to the ghost of the RIM park scandal in Waterloo, cannot accept the Region taking on a high debt load. Right now we are proud of our aaA rating with Moody’s.
It is too short a time to make a decision before the election, so the next council will decide this.
We will look at some options staff will come up with, such as shortening the line or private partnerships. We will also look once again at the bus rapid transit.
I am still in favour of the light rail transit for all the reasons I have given, but the gap in funding is a bridge too far for taxpayers to cross. So sad.
If you have any ideas on ways to fund the trains, please leave a comment and I will pass it along to staff for their consideration.