“We need both the province and federal government involved” Candidate Stuart MacKay

Responding to Bank Street O-Train

Clinton Desveaux
4 min readSep 21, 2022


Photo by Clinton Desveaux

Somerset Ward 14 candidate Stuart MacKay says “right now I want to focus my attention on OC-Transpo bus routes like the 6,7,11, and 14. We need a reliable bus service right now, especially the 11, it’s an important bus in Somerset Ward.”

I ask him: Why is everyone excited about the Bank Street O-Train? It would run through your ward?

Candidate MacKay responds “Yes it would run through the ward, but we need a comprehensive traffic study and we need a long term plan in place. Bank Street is essentially Ottawa’s main street and it’s our major north south connector and it connects to Lansdowne and runs through the city core. More study is needed before we will know what to do, there is a lot more work and study to do before we can start planning anything. I want to know how much will the Bank Street O-Train cost? What will the environmental impacts be?”

Somerset Ward 14 candidate Stuart MacKay

I ask him what will Bank Street O-Train mean for Confederation Line 1 ridership numbers?

“I believe in evidence based policy, we need transit options available for people to get to sporting events and other things and that means figuring out long term traffic patterns in the core. The city does not have the financial resources to do it alone. We need both the province and federal government involved if it goes forward. I think with massive funding infrastructure projects like this we need to be careful ensuring the planning is in place properly so we don’t repeat mistakes” says candidate MacKay

Video of candidates debating Bank Street O-Train on television

Do you prefer a surface line on Bank Street or a tunnel?

Candidate MacKay says “I and the city council need to study the issue at this stage to better understand what is involved. We need a rethink in this city, we are in an interesting time. In terms of transit we need to find a way to get people around the city. With Confederation Line 1 we are building residential and commercial development around LRT stations so what will additional phases for the O-Train mean for the existing network?”

CFRA Radio discussing Bank Street O-Train

Fellow Somerset Ward Candidates have also chimed in on the issue with Brandon Russell stating “my policy is that I’m a huge supporter of Bank Street O-Train, we need to start discussions right away on this file.”

And Candidate Ariel Troster says “without any sense of costing or the lack of a concrete proposal, I really can’t comment on this except to say that I agree that we need better north-south transit in our city.”

MPP Joel Harden who represents the downtown core says if the city is going to have an electric Bank Street O-Train Tunnel “I want to see it done in a proper and accountable way” and “the debate on Bank Street electric O-Train needs to continue — we need to deal with the climate emergency and rail transit, if done right, it can be part of the solution.”

For more stories on Bank Street O-Train see links below:



Clinton Desveaux

Left Handed Guitar, Photographer and Talk Jock - also known to ski wherever a hill or mountain can be found