By Ryan McGreal
Published August 12, 2011
While he was backpedaling from the mid-July email that triggered a controversy over the city's commitment to light rail transit, City Manager Chris Murray told council, "I would suggest reading the email again. Understand that it said that we were going to finish the work that we were asked to finish."
So let's read that email again:
I have made a decision to suspend all current direct and indirect activities of the Light Rail Transit Initiative other than any work activities required to be completed under the agreement [with Metrolinx].
Don't get me wrong: It's encouraging the that City Manager has heard the huge "clamour" from the community and is reaffirming his, and his staff's, support for LRT, just as it was encouraging to see the motion on LRT by Councillors Jason Farr and Brian McHattie.
However, given Murray's decision to "suspend all current direct and indirect activities" the city isn't contractually obligated to complete, made during Mayor Bob Bratina's steady stream of negative comments toward LRT over the summer and the fact that Murray's email came as a surprise even to the rapid transit team, it strains credulity to suggest that it was all just a big old misunderstanding.
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