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Calgary wants Green Line, Nenshi: LRT On the Green Poll

Green Line boosters release findings ahead of Calgary municipal election

Mayor Naheed Nenshi was joined by Premier Rachel Notley and Transportation Minister Brian Mason to announce the provincial government pledging $1.5- billion in funding for the Green Line LRT.

Jennifer Friesen / for Metro

Mayor Naheed Nenshi was joined by Premier Rachel Notley and Transportation Minister Brian Mason to announce the provincial government pledging $1.5- billion in funding for the Green Line LRT.

Calgarians are all aboard for Stage 1 of the Green Line, despite what some mayoral candidates will tell you.

This according to an online panel done through Asking Canadians, commissioned by LRT on the Green Foundation ahead of the vote on Oct. 16.

According to the survey respondents, 77 per cent of Calgarians are in favour of phase 1 project moving forward and 70 per cent don't want it delayed. Fifty-seven per cent asked said that a candidate's stance on the Green Line would affect their vote.

Last week, mayoral candidate Bill Smith said in looking at the current project he'd like to rethink the line and either take it to the southern suburbs, or northern ones with a terminal in the downtown to connect to the Red Line.

"We were very surprised and concerned that someone who could be Calgary’s next mayor would consider delaying the Green Line given how desperate the need is for it,” said LRT on the Green Foundation President Jeff Binks, in a prepared release.

“We've had five years of some of the most exhaustive consultations in Calgary's history. There have been literally thousands of hours of public engagement with the communities and residents who live along the route who have invested significant time and energy in developing this plan."

Smith questioned the math, suggesting that going from a 46-kilometre vision for the line at $4.5 billion to just 20 kilometres of track for $4.65 billion meant somewhere someone had "dropped the ball."

As for details on a rethink of the Green Line, Smith told media on Friday that he didn't have a plan.

Naheed Nenshi called his opponent's comments shocking and remarkably breathtakingly uninformed.

So far, the Green Line has had years of public consultation, and one of the driving forces behind that consultation aside from the City of Calgary's team and councillors were LRT on the Green.

The group garnered so much attention from the city and municipal politicians that their president, Binks, was invited to speak when the Government of Alberta announced $1.53 billion in funding.

He said what was even more surprising was that their poll found Calgarians were more keen on voting purple with Nenshi leading 15 points over his opponent Bill Smith.

The online survey with 1004 respondents used a representative but non-random sample, so there's no applicable margin of error. But a probability sample of this size would mean a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The respondents were weighted according to the 2017 City of Calgary census using people who were 18 years of age or older.

Other recent polls had those results flip-flopped, with Nenshi trailing Smith by a similar margin.

Details of the results:

Andre Chabot 3%  Naheed Nenshi 41% Bill Smith 26% Other 2% Don’t know / Not sure 28%

​Green Line related results:

- 70 per cent of Calgarians support the full 46 km route and 28 stations for the Green Line to be built in stages as approved by City Council.

- 77 per cent of Calgarians support proceeding with the 20 km phase one the Green Line, which has been fully funded by the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

- 70 per cent of Calgarians oppose delaying construction of the Green Line 57% of Calgarians agree that a candidate’s position on the Green Line will impact their vote this election ​

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