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Details may emerge on transit legal battle

Fight between city and region has gone on behind closed doors

A final resolution of a lawsuit over transit between the city and region may soon be made public.

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The culmination of a lengthy legal battle between the region and the city could soon see the light of day.

Over the past month, the two sides have been negotiating to reach a settlement in regards to outstanding liabilities from almost 15 years ago.

In 2011, the region sued the city for $8.9 million over “unfunded liabilities” including pensions and benefits incurred from when the region took over Oshawa Transit in 2004.

In early-March, regional council established an ad hoc committee tasked with the directive of reaching a settlement with the city.

After back and forth conversations, a deal materialized, thus avoiding a scheduled arbitration hearing on April 2.

At the April 4 committee of the whole meeting, Oshawa Councillor John Aker questioned when the terms of the settlement would come out.

Staff stated they hope to be able to release information at or after the April 11 regular council meeting.

Few details of the legal battle have been released publicly so far.

At this time last year, the region released a report that revealed Durham had spent approximately $720,000 in legal fees up to that point, including more than $623,000 in fees, over $18,000 in disbursements and more than $81,000 in taxes. It’s unclear how much has been added over the last year.

However, following the release of the regional report, the City of Oshawa declined to follow suit and has kept their legal costs in the dark.

“We really don’t want to give away our plan B,” Mayor John Henry told The Oshawa Express when asked about the decision not to share the amount. “We’ve been working on a plan B, along with this, which is plan A for a while now and invested a lot of staff time in this.”