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Candidates gang up on airport tunnel

Candidates from across the city rallied together in northeast Calgary yesterday, voicing their opposition to the proposed airport tunnel.

Candidates from across the city rallied together in northeast Calgary yesterday, voicing their opposition to the proposed airport tunnel.

Mayoral candidate Bob Hawkesworth led the charge with aldermen past and present — including current aldermanic candidates at the McKnight Westwinds Park and Ride location yesterday, saying the tunnel diverts much needed infrastructure cash away from other projects, including the SE LRT line.

“I believe this tunnel is not a priority with Calgarians,” said Hawkesworth, perhaps the only mayoral candidate vocal in his opposition to the tunnel.

Hawkesworth, former Ward 4 alderman, has been pushing the airport tunnel as a major election issue this summer, using the $500-million price tag as the main deterrent.

He’s gained support from a number of municipal candidates, including former alderman Helene Larocque, who is running to regain her Ward 3 seat, and she said the tunnel is a very high-cost item, while only a fraction of Calgarians will benefit.

“This is a symbolic issue,” said Larocque.

“It signifies giving votes to the past, or for the overall future of Calgary.”

Ward 1 candidate Judi Vandenbrink said she initially thought the tunnel might be a good idea for the airport, but what she calls misinformation has led her to change her mind on the issue.

“I get frustrated when I hear that this is Calgary’s number 1 priority,” said Vandenbrink, who attended Hawkesworth’s multi-candidate shindig.

“There are so many other issues that are important in this city.”

Hawkesworth said at the outset of yesterday’s event that this multi-candidate meeting was not an endorsement for one another or their overarching platforms in the upcoming municipal el­- ection.

 
 
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