Votes Cast for Statements
Dear Premier Ford,
I grew up in what is now Donna Skelly's riding (Ofield Rd. N., RR#2 Dundas) and my parents still live there. As they age, they know they will eventually need to sell the 2-acre property where they built their home and have lived for 57 years. Like many of their friends who are of a similar age, they plan to move to Dundas or Hamilton, where they can easily access excellent health and hospital care, and live closer to us (we are on the Hamilton mountain). Knowing that they will have to give up driving in their later years, they have also planned on living close to an LRT stop, which they feel will offer them continued independence - the ability to do their shopping, go to the theatre, dinner, and generally get around in their community.
My parents have some experience riding an LRT, as they visited us in Sydney, Australia during my sabbatical there. We did not have a car, and traveled everywhere across that city on the extensive LRT and bus system. During my parents' time with us, they marveled at how simple it was to take the LRT, how many nice people they met on the bus, and how easy it was to get where we needed to go. They loved how they could go downtown with their teenage grandkids, without having to worry about finding their way and parking, not to mention driving on the right hand side of the street!
Another thing about my parents. They are "old timers" who have never lived without a car. My mom learned to drive a crankshaft truck when she was 10 yrs old, on her parents' farm on the 6th Concession in Millgrove. My dad is a an antique sports car collector (last count, he owned 3 cars plus an old Ford pickup), who is happiest tinkering in his garage and polishing up his '74 Fiat. They live in the country, where there is no municipal water or sewer service, where everyone travels by car. They and their friends have voted Conservative many times, though recently not so much.
I tell you all of this, as you may have heard that Hamilton's population is "divided" about the LRT. What I want you to understand is that it is only divided as a result of the wedge politics played by too many of our city councillors (past and present). People do tend to be wary about what they don't know. But once people like my parents actually experience what an LRT system provides, they come quickly to appreciate its many benefits to them personally and to the wider community.
Premier Ford, it is not too late to do the right thing for the people of Hamilton. Including for the many folks like my parents - who will come to depend on the LRT as they age and need to re-organize their lives to maintain independence and a good quality of life. Please make this right, and invest in the LRT for the future of our community.