On the same day, Ben Spurr reported in The Star that members of Toronto Council had learned of private discussions between Metrolinx and interested developers about alternative alignments and station sites. These issues are at the heart of many questions about and objections to the OL plans, and in particular the reluctance, if not outright refusal of Metrolinx to entertain alternatives.
With the Star’s article, Metrolinx can no longer claim that they only have one design, or that alternatives cannot be discussed.
At tonight’s community meeting, on February 5, conveniently a few blocks from my home, I asked Richard Tucker, who is in charge of this project from Metrolinx, point blank what alternatives were on the table.
He responded “Is this for media” and I replied “Of course”.
To which, in turn, Tucker said, in effect, I cannot tell you about that.
If I had merely been an interested member of the community unknown to Metrolinx, who knows what he might have told me, but for official consumption, mum’s the word. This is a senior public servant who simply does not understand (or whose bosses do not understand) the concept of openness, transparency and actual “consultation”.
In many ways, Metrolinx is its own worst enemy with its secrecy and refusal to engage in discussions. This is not confined to pesky media, bloggers and community groups. It is commonly reported by members of Council and the Legislature, not to mention privately by professional staff at the city and TTC.
In the absence of any official pronouncement from Metrolinx, I would be happy to receive information from members of Council who were briefed, or via the tried and true “brown envelope”.