Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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A promising compromise on Western Light Rail

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This morning, the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission announced that they have reached an agreement in principle on a plan to bury the Western Light Rail (WLRT) route through Kitchissippi Ward, stacked under a re-aligned parkway. I will be evaluating the full details in the coming days, but consider this to be a broadly positive step forward.

During my campaign I was clear that, if the WLRT was to be routed along the Sir John A MacDonald Parkway route, it must be fully buried. Residents were unprepared to accept a WLRT implementation that removed the potential for future reforestation or poorer access to the Ottawa River. The decision taken today leaves open the potential for greatly improved Ottawa River parkland.

There will be details that must be considered transparently and openly such as the impact of the Cleary station and to the property of the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa. I fully expect that the City will begin those discussions quickly and approach them with generosity. While I am pleased that years of uncertainty about the future of Rochester Field will be ended, the potential development of a portion of it must be treated sensitively

I would like to thank the staff at both the City and NCC for their focused and productive work on this controversial and critical file, as well as my colleagues Councillors Keith Egli, Stephen Blais and Mark Taylor.

More importantly, I would like to recognize the critical role that residents of Kitchissippi, Ottawa as a whole, and even from across the country played in encouraging the NCC to stand fast to its conditions as expressed on November 21. I thank them for their unwavering dedication to this cause. This compromise is a testament to the contribution that ordinary citizens, when persistent and focused, can make to important decisions.

Public consultations will soon begin. I am looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the City, NCC and residents to advocate for the best plan possible.

The materials presented today are available at

Posted March 6, 2015