Statement by Rachel LaFrance
As a resident of the east mountain (ward 9)- one would think I can't see the point of the LRT system as so many of my neighbours do. Their views are however, shortsighted.
This city is at crossroads. We are growing too quickly and the transit system and infrastuture cannot keep up with demand. There is a projected 30% population increase in the city over the next 20 years. We need a bigger, better plan than widening some roads and patching potholes.
Mountain residents are not being made aware that the LRT is phase 1 in the BLAST plan. The other phases will drastically help the mountain residents and free up current buses to be utilized in more outlying areas. It is clean, quiet, accessible, and the way of the future. There is zero guarantee that the Provincial government will let us use these funds for anything other than what it has been earmarked for. Especially in light of the ever-growing provincial deficit. We have already spent millions upon millions in planning and environmental assessments which will be wasted if this project is cancelled. The tax boom from people investing in this city will mean millions of dollars back in the city budget. This is a win-win for the City of Hamilton.
We need to stop doing things the way we have always done them. We need to look to the future of this city and find new and innovative ways to make it competitive and sustainable. I sincerely urge our city counselors to vote YES for the LRT. Make this city into the gem it could be.
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