By Ryan McGreal
Published July 20, 2011
While the City's senior management continue to insist that there is nothing untoward about last Friday's decision to suspend work on light rail transit (LRT) and redirect city resources to all-day GO service, the details surrounding the move suggest a more sinister conclusion.
The change in City priorities was directed not by a Council vote but by administrative fiat, and the decision was revealed not in an announcement by the city but in a leaked email to Council that was obtained by RTH on Monday.
Worse still, when the email was sent to Council last Friday, Rapid Transit director Jillian Stephen was still away on vacation.
Stephen, who returned to work on Monday, will be the only remaining member of the Rapid Transit office.
Her work will be restricted to meeting the City's contractual obligations with the Province, which granted $3 million to help pay for planning, design and environmental assessment. All other work related to LRT has been suspended pending a review by senior management.
Meanwhile, planning and economic development adviser Chris Phillips has been appointed to run a staff team that will "aggressively pursue all-day GO service" to James North and Centennial Parkway.
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