Posted January 07, 2020
The more we learn about Ontario Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney's Hamilton LRT numbers, the less sense they make. Unless she was really just looking for any excuse to kill the project, in which they make perfect sense.
First, Mulroney combines the capital cost with 30 years of operating, maintenance, lifecycle and financing costs.
Then, she adds 30 years of estimated municipal operating costs (without any explanation of how they were calculated) to the provincial total.
Mulroney has already admitted conflating the capital, financing, operating, maintenance and lifecycle costs, so the numbers are already bogus.
But it gets even worse. In the detailed cost calculation Mulroney provided to Mayor Fred Eisenberger, the numbers she provides don't even add up!
When you go through the calculations line-by-line, the report only comes up with a total of $3.65 billion in overall 30-year provincial costs, with no accounting for where the rest of the cost comes from.
That $3.65 billion in overall 30-year costs matches the approved Metrolinx budget of $3.75 billion over 30 years, according to an internal Metrolinx document just obtained by the Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator and Raise the Hammer.
It is also entirely in line with the final 30-year cost the Province just approved for the Hurontario LRT in Mississauga/Brampton. (Their line is 22% longer than Hamilton's and costs 22% more.)
The Hurontario LRT line was approved and funded. The Hamilton LRT line, just a few months away from final bids, was cancelled.
The leaked Metrolinx document also notes that the consortiums bidding to build Hamilton LRT had "concerns around municipal and provincial support" for the project.
This is not surprising after all the ways Council stalled, delayed and undermined the project over the year. Making things worse, the incoming Provincial government suspended the procurement process and froze spending on the project for another 8 months until the end of last March.
It's an outrageous self-fulfilling prophecy to justify cancelling a project because the companies bidding on it were worried you might cancel the project!
Only Hamilton has been treated this way. It's unfair and we deserve better. Tell Premier Ford to correct Mulroney's Bad Math and get this project back on track.
If you haven't already, please add your personal statement calling on Ford to give us a fair deal.