Ontario auditor general to probe Hamilton light-rail project costs

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Hamilton Ontario

TORONTO — Ontario’s auditor general says she will investigate the “reasonableness” of government cost estimates of Hamilton’s now cancelled light-rail line.

Bonnie Lysyk says she will probe the costs as part of a larger audit her office is already conducting on the province’s regional transit agency, Metrolinx.

The Progressive Conservatives said earlier this week the project’s price tag had ballooned from $1 billion to $5.5 billion, leading the government to cancel it.

The government said Tuesday it will not release a third-party study it used to justify scrapping the project.

Opposition politicians and Hamilton’s mayor have disputed the figures which they say Tories inflated, demanding the release of the full government cost estimate.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath wrote Lysyk earlier this week to ask her to investigate the costs, saying they are out of line with similar projects being built in other parts of the province.

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