Posted April 26, 2017
The political twists and turns of Hamilton's LRT plan have certainly been frustrating, but the outpouring of civic advocacy and support for LRT over the past few weeks has been nothing short of extraordinary.
City Councillors have been overwhelmed with the many thousands of Hamiltonians who have spoken up about this transformative plan. We even broke Councillor VanderBeek's email! (Sorry)
After two ultramarathon Committee meetings running more than 26 grueling hours with over a hundred delegations, thousands of emails and phone calls, and a civic debate that has dominated local media, the buck stops at today's City Council meeting.
City Council meets today, Wednesday, April 26, 5:00 PM at City Hall, 71 Main Street West. Please attend the meeting in person if you can!
Either way, this is your last chance to make your voice heard before today's vote. Please take a few moments and phone your Councillor - especially if you live in a ward where your Councillor is undecided.
- Mayor Fred Eisenberger: (905) 546-4200, Mayor@hamilton.ca
- Ward 1 Aidan Johnson: (905) 546-2416, Aidan.Johnson@hamilton.ca
- Ward 2 Jason Farr: (905) 546-2711, Jason.Farr@hamilton.ca
- Ward 3 Matthew Green: (905) 546-2702, Matthew.Green@hamilton.ca
- Ward 4 Sam Merulla: (905) 546-4512, Sam.Merulla@hamilton.ca
- Ward 5 Chad Collins: (905) 546-2716, Chad.Collins@hamilton.ca
- Ward 6 Tom jackson: (905) 546-2707, Tom.Jackson@hamilton.ca
- Ward 7 Donna Skelly: (905) 546-2706, Donna.Skelly@hamilton.ca
- Ward 8 Terry Whitehead: (905) 546-2712, Terry.Whitehead@hamilton.ca
- Ward 9 Doug Conley: (905) 546-2703, Doug.Conley@hamilton.ca
- Ward 10 Maria Pearson: (905) 546-2701, Maria.Pearson@hamilton.ca
- Ward 11 Brenda Johnson: (905) 546-4513, Brenda.Johnson@hamilton.ca
- Ward 12 Lloyd Ferguson: (905) 546-2704, Lloyd.Ferguson@hamilton.ca
- Ward 13 Arlene VanderBeek: (905) 546-2714, Arlene.VanderBeek@hamilton.ca
- Ward 14 Robert Pasuta: (905) 546-2705, Robert.Pasuta@hamilton.ca
- Ward 15 Judi Partridge: (905) 546-2713, Judi.Partridge@hamilton.ca
Councillors have to decide whether to approve the Environmental Project Report amendment for the LRT plan and move the implementation of that plan forward, or else reject the report and cause a decade of planning, design, engagement, advocacy and investment in Hamilton's future to grind to a halt.
Councillors have to decide whether to accept a $1 billion public investment in city building that will improve our transit, increase our tax base, expand our housing and employment options and grow our economy, or else reject all those badly-needed benefits and destroy the city's credibility.
This should be the easiest decision in the city's history.
Every major business, labour, education, health and academic institution and community organization, neighbourhood association and environmental advocacy group in Hamilton recognizes the sheer breadth of the opportunity and stands behind the project.
They see the wide range of benefits - including but not limited to transit, urban revitalization, fiscal sustainability, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, equity and social inclusion - that will benefit the entire city.
To the extent that the opposition is organized at all, it has coalesced around fear of change, a blizzard of misinformation about the project details, and an ideological rejection of the mountain of strong evidence supporting its outcomes.
In their desperation to deny its benefits, LRT opponents on Council have resorted to pretending its benefits shouldn't be taken into consideration when deciding whether to move forward on the project Council already approved.
We can't let fear and misinformation rule the day. We can't let Hamilton snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory. We can't afford to screw up the best chance in at least 50 years to set our city on a course for success.
Stand up and be counted. This is our time to make a difference that will be felt for decades to come. Our children and grandchildren will thank us.