Blog | September 12, 2013

Election candidates asked to declare position on privatizing SE LRT

EDMONTON—The OurLRT Coalition launched a publicity campaign designed to raise awareness of the privatization of the new to SE to West Valley LRT line and to get election candidates to declare what their position is on the P3 project.The Coalition has purchased advertising on LRT trains and in LRT stations, and will be distributing 10,000 “transfers” that explains why Edmontonians should be concerned with the privatization of the new LRT line.“The privatization of the LRT line is an important election issue because there are still many unanswered questions about this $1.8 billion P3,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “This campaign will help mobilize people to ask the candidates to clearly outline where they stand on these questions.”“Given that our poll showed that 71% of Edmontonians were upset that City Council had no public consultation and made this decision in an in-camera meeting, one of the questions we are asking candidates is if they will commit to hold a public hearing about the privatization of the LRT,” said Stu Litwinowich, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 569.“The new City Council will be responsible for signing off on this massive privatization contract, so Edmontonians want to know from candidates what terms and conditions will be included to ensure we get quality services,” said Mike Scott, President of CUPE Local 30. “There are so many examples from across Canada and around the world of P3 contracts being cancelled, so we want to make sure the new City Council is not going to lock us into a 30 year contract we can’t get out of if the corporation does not meet expectations.”“Our 45,000 members want a City Council that will be open and transparent and will be willing to show the details of the future P3 contract,” said Brian Henderson, President of the Edmonton District Labour Council. “The people of Edmonton are going to be paying for the full cost of the construction and operations of the new LRT through our taxes and fares, we certainly should have the right to know how much profit these companies expect to make in this contract. These companies are not here out of the goodness of their hearts.”“Right across the country the message from the federal government to cities is the same: privatize your services or you won’t get any funding from us,” said Scott Harris, Prairies Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians. “Cities – not the Harper government – know what works best for their infrastructure, and municipal governments need to start standing up and insisting on federal funding without privatization strings attached.”Edmontonians can find out more details about the campaign, the results of a public opinion poll and volunteer to distribute “transfers” on the website The results of the candidate survey will be distributed the week of October 7th.-30-The media launch of the campaign will take place on Thursday, September 12 at 10 AM in the Churchill LRT station at the entrance to the proof of payment area (at the base of the stairs of the entrance across the street from the main entrance to the Art Gallery of Alberta)