Posted September 15, 2020
Our voices continue to make an impact. Hundreds have sent messages to provincial and federal representatives. They heard you.
First, the Hamilton Transportation Task Force made LRT a top recommendation. Next, the Federal Government indicated an interest in funding LRT. Now the Province has responded.
Premier Doug Ford recently announced that he is in favour of getting Hamilton LRT back on track as a project that will help with the economic recovery.
He also formally asked the federal government to help fund the resurrected project. "We need your help. We need you at the table. And I know they want to."
In response, Canada's Minister of Infrastructure Catherine McKenna said that Ottawa was "committed to funding good public transit projects" and recognized the potential Hamilton LRT project as the "most shovel-ready" with local support.
These developments follow on the release of a report obtained through freedom of information, that showed Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney's assertion the Hamilton LRT would cost $5.5 Billion was false.
Further, the construction union LIUNA conducted their own cost analysis which also showed that Mulroney's numbers didn't add up. LIUNA has since pitched a $3.4-million LRT construction plan that would combine private money with potential contributions from the provincial and federal governments.
As a next step, Premier Ford suggested the federal government needs to make a concrete offer of funding and that, combined with provincial contributions plus support from other groups such as LIUNA, would be enough to get the project going.
"The mayor and I said, even if we move it, a little bit, get half, get two-thirds, get anything going, we can add onto it. The critical thing is to get the shovels in the ground. My theory in life is there's always a way to make things happen." Ford said.
On this, we couldn't agree more. The fight for LRT is by no means over, but these developments are very positive and show the importance of your continued interest and engagement.
Thank you and please stay safe and healthy.