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Andrea Horwath calls on auditor general to investigate Hamilton’s derailed LRT

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath wants the Auditor General to look into the 'costing claims' that derailed Hamilton's LRT project.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath wants the Auditor General to look into the 'costing claims' that derailed Hamilton's LRT project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario’s NDP leader is calling on the auditor general to investigate the costing claims behind the cancellation of Hamilton’s LRT project.

Andrea Horwath, the New Democrat MPP for Hamilton Centre, has sent a letter to Bonny Lysyk to investigate the “reasonableness of cost estimates presented to the public, under the current and previous provincial governments, for rapid transit projects, including the Hamilton LRT.”

READ MORE: Stakeholders weigh in on province’s $1B funding promise after cancelling Hamilton’s LRT

On Monday, Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney announced the cancellation of the project, claiming the true cost of the project was $5.5 billion, five times higher than the amount originally promised to the city by the Kathleen Wynne Liberal government in 2014.

Horwath’s letter questions Mulroney’s math, which suggests “the construction cost-per-km for the Hamilton LRT is now somehow several times what other comparable projects have cost.”

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READ MORE: LiUNA leader calls demise of Hamilton’s LRT ‘disturbing’

Horwath claims the government “is comparing apples to oranges by including operations and maintenance costs over 30 years, as well as other non-construction costs.”

The PC government has said it will not release a third-party study of Hamilton’s light-rail line that led to the project’s cancellation because it contains proprietary and commercial information that cannot be released to the public.

Click to play video 'Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding' Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding
Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding