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LRT Crisis Averted, For Now

Posted October 26, 2016

First, the good news: the October 25 General Issues Committee meeting is finally over, and Council did not vote to kill the LRT project or defer it to a ballot question in October 2018. The City Solicitor and the Integrity Commissioner made it totally clear that it would require a "reconsideration motion" and a two-thirds majority to reverse course on the votes Council already made to implement LRT.

As a result, Councillor Sam Merulla's LRT Re-Affirmation motion was withdrawn, since it is not necessary to keep the project moving forward and a vote against it would not actually stop the project.

More good news: despite a last-ditch attempt by a small anti-LRT group to dominate the meeting, the full gallery of 150 residents was mostly composed of LRT supporters - many sporting t-shirts and buttons - and 19 out of the 26 citizen delegations spoke in favour of LRT.

The difference in tone between the pro-LRT and anti-LRT delegations was stark. LRT supporters were for the most part optimistic, hopeful, and eager to see positive change, whereas LRT opponents were for the most part fearful, angry, and resistant to change.

One anti-LRT activist was going to present a petition with around 400 signatures, which were gathered over several months. However, the activist declined to make a delegation when it came out that a pro-LRT petition received 1,300 signatures in a matter of days.

Now for the bad news: despite the clear evidence that citywide support for LRT is broad, several councillors are still doing what they can to try and confuse, obstruct and undermine progress, even if they can't outright kill the project.

(You can read a more detailed report on Raise the Hammer.)

This is a time when we should all be working together to ensure that LRT is as successful as possible. Instead, a few councillors keep dredging up tired and debunked objections instead of focusing on the big picture, maintaining a strategic view, navigating through challenges and bringing Hamiltonians together around a common vision.

Thank you all for everything you have been doing to advocate, share, promote and support this project. It is painfully clear that Council needs to keep hearing the message that Hamilton expects its leaders to follow through on their commitments.

The struggle to see this project through to a successful completion is not over, but thanks to your support and advocacy, we have collectively managed to navigate through this latest crisis.

As always, please send a personal message of LRT support to Council if you have not already, and please share our website with your friends and colleagues.


On October 31 2016 at 12:23 PM Vern Wilson said:

The LRT is a solution to a problem that we in Hamilton don't have, yet. This is a dream machine for City Councillors that Hamilton does not need. If the LRT goes ahead, I predict it will go 2 years beyond the anticipated construction time and will be $3 - 5 Million over what the Ont. Government is offering to pay. That's ok, the tax payers of Hamilton will pay, as usual.

On November 1 2016 at 12:11 PM John Cont said:

Only one simple question to those who support this LRT system: Will you and your kids/family member use LRT on daily basis? If your answer is yes, I am sorry buddy, you need work harder to buy yourself a CAR!

On November 13 2016 at 6:02 PM William O'Neill said:

I started using Public Transit a few years ago . I love it . Think its great to let the driving be done by someone else. To bad I can only afford public transit when i began getting SenIors rate ! Public transit all public transit should be free , lets put a sur Tax on a liter of gas , say 3 cents a liter to be used for all public transit across Canada . Maybe juts maybe the car will stay at home and drivers will use public transit more often . Since they are paying for it ! I hope to use your LRT an any other public transit . too bad i had to wait till i became a Senior First .

On November 25 2016 at 12:29 PM Dean Fulton said:

Over time - as fuel costs rise around the globe and emissions and carbon targets become a priority, the city of Hamilton could find itself a dinosaur among North American cities should anti-progress Council members and the fear-mongering CAVE people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) be taken seriously in their opposition to the proposed LRT. There is no defensible argument against the proliferation of mass transit in a modern, forward-thinking city. We can embrace infrastructure improvements and modern urban concepts, like the LRT, or we will wither and die as a city. Considering the recent forward strides that Hamilton has made, it would be a shame to see this momentum wane in the face of feeble arguments for the status quo.

On December 7 2016 at 12:02 PM Dean said:

Sam Merulla is the same great councillor who rejected the confederation stadium plan. Instead of making a great investment in Hamilton's beach area like Burlington did we are left with go karts and a water park both which lose money. Bob Young knew the potential, a businessman who saved our cats but instead we let Merulla bully city council to reject it. We almost lost the stadium but luckily we got it. But at a great cost. Ivor Wynne was demolished a great historic Hamilton icon in a bad area for the Cats stuck in a resendential area. People leave during the 4th quarter just to beat the traffic. LRT makes complete sense, we need to modernize and go forward not backwards.

On December 13 2016 at 10:43 AM keith Reid said:

I am against the installation of LRT in Hamilton.
Two main reasons
1) council is so in love with what is reported as FREE infrastructure money that they blindly chase it. It's not free it's our money (taxpayers) If those sitting on council for more than 3 terms, they should have their feet held to the fire and explain why on their watch we have such crippling defects in infrastructure and certainly don't elect them any more.
2)By the time these people put a shovel in the ground technology will be present for driver-less cars and busses, also shared economies in transportation will present themselves which will render train tracks in our roads to be obsolete once more.
Elect politicians who want to serve and better our communities rather than those who want to create life long jobs for themselves only.

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