Votes Cast for Statements
Since returning to live in the Hamilton area many years ago I have followed the debates on the proposed
LRT here. I have attended meetings, read reports and heard many, many arguments, both pro and con. Ultimately, after reviewing the facts, I became a strong supporter of the project and the benefits that experts (Metrolinx, urban planners, and others) suggested could arise from its completion (these positives seem to be occurring in K-W, Ottawa and other places where LRT’s have been built).
Whether related to reducing pollution and congestion, addressing our woeful local infrastructure crisis, allowing improved business opportunities, building a stronger tax base or, simply, providing a better alternative for residents here to traverse our core, I realized it won on all levels.
Thus, it didn’t surprise me that in the last provincial election all of the parties seeking my support seemed to agree on the project’s merits and that it should be built if retaining funding promises and building LRT were what the local electorate wished for. This was clearly stated in the subsequent municipal election.
Then… Just before Christmas, in a gong show announcement, the province (ie. the currently ruling party) abruptly, and without any publicly accessible justification, pulled the plug and sidelined the project based on, what?... spite it seems. We may have a long history of electing Liberal and NDP candidates here in Hamilton but decisions like this confirm why we do!
I am mad that the current government has thrown business decisions, based on electoral promises, into chaos; that the years of hard work studying what the best transit solution for Hamilton is have been arbitrarily dismissed, and; that Hamiltonians will not be able to enjoy the benefits that I (and many, many better versed experts on the topic) believe would have resulted from its construction.
With this decision, the current government has, to my mind, shown itself to be spitefully, not factually, orientated; anti-business; anti-facts, and anti-environment. It also, strangely, given the circumstance, seems willing to squander hundreds of millions of dollars to scratch an itch it didn’t need to notice. That’s wise? I don’t think so.
As such, I hope the current government will return to Hamilton and announce a subsequent decision/reversal on the LRT that it doesn’t need to run from. The future is longer than an electoral cycle and this is no way to govern for the future. Business/environmental/urban planning decisions are not made on four year terms.