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London mayor corrects word choice over federal transit funding

London Mayor Matt Brown's comments follow an announcement by the federal government last week that they were committing $204 million to transit initiatives in the city. Matthew Trevithick/ 980 CFPL

Mayor Matt Brown says he should have chosen his words differently when he implied in a media interview that London’s rapid transit plans were fully funded.

“I think I used the term ‘absolutely.’ What I should’ve said is, ‘Absolutely, this is a perfect fit,'” said Brown.

His comments follow an announcement by the federal government last week that they were committing $204 million to transit initiatives in the city.

READ MORE: London receives $204 million in federal funding for public transit

“From everything that I’ve seen related to our business case and this funding for transit, I think there’s great alignment,” said Brown.

That doesn’t mean the funding is ready to be applied to BRT, said London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos.

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“[That money] has been committed to the city of London, but at this point in time, Shift is not a fully funded project,” he said.

“It will only be funded if a review of its business case finds that its assumptions, its plan, all of those necessary things rest on a sound foundation,” said Fragiskatos.

“You can’t simply hand out money for projects without conducting a thorough review,” he said.

“We have not even received a business case to review yet.”

READ MORE: Cycling group criticizes London’s BRT street designs, says city must do better

The process isn’t completed yet, says Brown, and realizes his earlier comments may have implied it was.

“The federal government has opened their phase two funding process… What we’ll do is formally apply for that program, just as we did for phase one,” said Brown.

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Brown is confident the project will get the required funding.

London has already secured $170 million in funding from the province while the city has committed $130 million to the plan.

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