Mandel Wants LRT To Take Centre Stage On 2013 Council AgendaPosted by Yoofi Gerard Hagan on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 at 1:01pm.
Mandel noted that you just can’t wait for everything to fall into place. If council moves and gets this done the new line could be up and running by 2017. The NAIT line, which will connect to the southeast LRT route, will be running by the spring of 2014. Plans for the LRT have been on the table for nearly four years.
So far, council approved a P3, or private-public partnership back in October. The city will come up with $800 million from various sources, including a three year long tax increase. Edmonton is requesting the province to come up with $600 million, most of it to come out of the fund for Green Trip Transit. The federal portion is slated to be $400 million. Final approval should happen in the first quarter of 2013, with a few details concerning the P3 application and the design to be worked out.
Other things in the works for 2013 include a housing-first program for the aboriginal community and building a relationship with China. Mandel will be traveling to China on January 3rd with the hope of solidifying ties with Beijing. Since China appears to be emerging as a leading world economy, this is a good move. It provides an alternative marketing partner to the United States, which currently has economic problems of its own.
Mandel has been focusing on China since he became Mayor back in 2004. He is also looking at Europe, which is showing signs of moving towards a free trade agreement with Canada.
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