A standing room-only crowd greeted PC leader Doug Ford at a rally at Carmen’s last week.

Money will stay in Hamilton

Before  a cheering packed PC rally at Carmen’s Banquet Centre last week, Ontario PC leader Doug Ford lit the fuse on what is certain to be the defining issue in the upcoming provincial and municipal elections—LRT. Ford took the issue beyond the stance taken by his predecessor Patrick Brown, saying if Hamilton Council rejected LRT, he would nonetheless allow the $1 Billion stay in Hamilton and further, that he would allow the money to be used for non-transit infrastructure like roads.

In a CHML interview, and reiterated at the rally Ford declared, “I believe in letting the people decide. The Liberals said to the people of Hamilton, You take this, (LRT) or we’ll take all the funding away… We’re not going to do that. If people want the LRT well give it to them, if they don’t want it were still going to keep the money for infrastructure in Hamilton. I’m going to stand behind the people of Hamilton,–were going to do what the people of Hamilton want to do.”

Ford urged the crowd to hold Hamilton municipal and provincial candidates accountable for their stand on LRT.  Referring to Flamborough-Glanbrook PC candidate Donna Skelly, a consistent foe of LRT, Ford said “I rely on people like Donna Skelly, who know what the people want.”

Depending on the outcome of the provincial election the statement by Ford puts the LRT issue firmly back in the hands of Hamilton City Council who voted last April to allow the project to proceed, subject to a vote on the final financial cost of the project which was slated to be presented sometime after the October municipal election. Councillors Tom Jackson, Terry Whitehead and Chad Collins all reversed long-time stands against LRT in the vote in April Last year after intense lobbying and warnings by government member Ted McMeekin that rejecting LRT would place Hamilton back to the drawing board on transit funding from the province. Councillors apparently feared that they would be seen to have turned down a Billion dollar gift. Ford’s comments have created a stark choice for voters in both upcoming elections.

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

12 Comments to: Doug Ford re-ignites LRT issue

  1. Demi Tasse

    April 20th, 2018

    “You get a free car, you get a free car, you get a free car. That’s next on their agenda.” (March 28, 2018)
    “We’re still going to keep the money for infrastructure in Hamilton… we’re going to do what the people of Hamilton want to do.” (April 3, 2018)

    Problem: Ontario’s Liberal government is spending too much, and trying to buy votes.
    Solution: A PC Ontario government will honour Liberal spending commitments, and voters can spend the money however they want

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  2. jim graham

    April 20th, 2018

    Liberals dictate “it’s LRT or nothing” while Ford has promised to listen.

    Huge difference.

    Imagine allowing taxpayers to determine how taxes are spent. It won’t be on LRT.

    • Demi Tasse

      April 21st, 2018

      As someone once said, “culture of low expectations.”

      Imagine a provincial organization that set a strategic priority for population growth, crafted legislation to enable supportive transportation policy, assembled a board of GTHA leaders to create a region-wide, multi-modal transportation plan, sought input from municipal governments on their strategic transit priorities, considered infrastructure investment options within the context of a broad range of considerations (including but not limited to user & environmental benefits, and alignment with the public policy objectives), determined that a given project measured up and could be funded, then proceeded to implement plans. At one time, Ontario PCs would have called that responsible governance.

      Then again, Ontario PCs have been in opposition so long (longer than at any time in their history) that they might be a little fuzzy.

      What Ford is promising is just gas plant politics.

      • jim graham

        April 21st, 2018

        and ignored the taxpayers.

        “You won’t be able to drive your car, and you won’t be able to drive your car, and you won’t be able to drive your car”
        Cuz we said. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
        And yes, this is the exact same crew that brought us the gas plant fiasco. Good on you for bringing that into play.

        Only in a culture of low expectations, could we have a “transit vision” that does absolutely nothing to improve transit.
        What Ford is promising is what we have wanted all along.

        • Demi Tasse

          April 21st, 2018

          Respectfully, you’re caricaturing the nature of transportation policymaking over the last 12 years. There has been all kinds of public consultation and grassroots policy directive on this file, much of the foundational work done by municipal leaders (elected to public office by a majority of the voting age population of their respective communities).

          It’s funny that this rapid transit infrastructure investment has been described as “$1B we don’t have” by Donna Skelly for the past several years, and yet she’s now cheerleading an anything goes spending spree. No hypocrisy too glaring if she can finally win an election, I suppose.

          I don’t doubt that Ford’s “platform schmatform” roadshow appeals to some, but it raises more questions that in resolves.

          For one, what exactly *is* Ford’s transit vision for the GTHA, aside from adding toll lanes to the Gardiner?

          For another, why, when someone like yourself is so perennially despairing about the ineptitude of municipal government, are you cheered by a provincial leader who wants to download policymaking to city council?

          Or simply: If a candidate aspiring to government prefers to outsource policy and decision making to municipalities, why have MPPs or a provincial government at all? Just have councils call up Deputy Ministers directly with their requests. Wouldn’t that save us a ton of money?

          I’ll settle for a link to the Ontario PCs’ policy platform.

          • jim graham

            April 22nd, 2018

            there has never been broad public support……ever. For anything you desire.

            Your obsession with Ms. Skelly is comical. She is attractive, intelligent, and successful….and you are an anonymous coward. The image of you as a “Louise Agner” sitting in your boxers and egg stained wife beater, slurping cheap scotch, while chewing a stogie is unavoidable. She represents all that you are not. You’ve missed the bus.

            You don’t understand…..we get it.
            The “plan” is…..we decide. Your lack of self confidence is understandable. Have no fear, we have your back (because you have no front) We’ll do what is right.

        • Demi Tasse

          April 22nd, 2018

          Re: Gas plant politics

          “Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak pledged Wednesday to get rid of a gas-fired power plant west of Toronto, just one day before Ontario voters head to the polls.

          The Tory leader has repeatedly derided Premier Dalton McGuinty for promising to pull the plug on the 280-megawatt facility midway through the campaign, calling it a crass attempt to grab votes.

          Asked if he’d scrap the Mississauga plant if he formed the next government, Hudak replied: “That’s right. Done. Done, done, done.”

          The plant’s site is also located in a key battleground in the provincial election — the so-called 905 area outside Toronto that was painted Tory blue in May’s federal election.

          And with recent polls indicating that the Liberals have a healthy lead going into Thursday’s vote, the Tories are pulling out all the stops to convince voters to support them.”


  3. Demi Tasse

    April 22nd, 2018

    Skelly is the A-List Tory candidate in the market and was specifically name-checked by Ford. She has a long history of low-IQ soundbite politics and dogmatic double-standards. That’s the reason I mention her, not because she’s your lust puppet or because the Bay Observer thinks she’s the second coming of Sarah Palin. But if you think that you can’t be “attractive, intelligent, and successful” (way to privilege looks over brains, BTW, not to mention your fondness for the “wife beater”) and also a pandering climber/narcissistic hypocrite/ideological turncoat, think again.

    The Ontario PCs are the only party that has never manage to sew up all local ridings, even when the PCs held their largest provincial majorities. Hamilton is also growing thanks to an influx of transplants from Fortress Toronto, residents hailing from ridings that have been red or orange. The PCPO is well aware of this and is throwing everything at the wall. Which is to be expected. And if you don’t take off-the-cuff campaign promises with a handful of salt, you are the very definition of a low information voter.

    “We” decide by electing officials, who decide on our behalf (unless you belong to a PC riding association, in which case Toronto tells you what you want). This is as it has been done for generations, and how the rapid transit file was handled.

    There will always be the 11th hour procrastinators moaning about lack of adequate consultation, usually those who can’t be bothered to participate in civic life or actively engage their elected officials and articulate a positive vision of city building other than “more of the same but with a tax cut that defies the rate of inflation”.

    The fact remains that two years elapsed between the time that the GTTA Board was assembled and the time that Hamilton was identified as a candidate for rapid transit funding, two and a half years between the GTTA Board and the City’s initiating a Rapid Transit Feasibility Study to explore options. And then another year after that before the Public Works Committee ratified LRT as their preferred option. And then another four years before the City presented its preferred choice to the province for funding consideration. In all, three separate councils have given this project their blessing. And those councils were installed by the voting public.

    If city council wants to rip up an MOU that was the key to a $1B infrastructure project, and write off the decade of staff time spent pursuing a long-term policy objective baked into official plans, that’s entirely their prerogative. If they want to back another rapid transit mode or network design, bully for them.

    I just don’t see them doing so without a second MOU in place. And I don’t see that coming, because it would be a precedent that 444 other municipalities across Ontario would want to leverage.

    What I want more than anything is to live in a city that believes in something for longer than three-year increments, and which is capable of building a dynamic and sustainable civilization that makes room for all. That means substantive changes to the legacy road network, but it doesn’t mean that cars will be rendered useless. That’s just sulky “war on cars” hyperbole, and you’re smart enough to know as much.

    • jim graham

      April 23rd, 2018

      imagine an anonymous fraud lacking the courage to assume responsibility for their perspectives….(that would be you) calling on all concerned to be a little more authentic in their posturing.
      Your hypocrisy is stifling.
      With your credibility blistered, your advocacy is counter productive.
      Your obsession with Skelly is well documented.
      She has. You want.

      • Demi Tasse

        April 23rd, 2018

        Unless you’re about to post a scan of your passport and driver’s license, you are as anonymous as me. Does the fact that you sound like a white male privilege your anonymity?

        I care about Skelly only inasmuch as she is a fake conservative and embodies all of the weaknesses of a once-great party. Other than that, she is a caricature of a Hamilton politician and not much more than that.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised by the loosey-goosey belief systems offered up on the rubber chicken circuit. Parties of all stripes are susceptible to the politics of convenience, and those who crave power the most typically have elastic principles that change to suit a given audience. All-caps pandering is par for the course. And it’s a short campaign, which only makes it harder to pin down politicians on matters of substance.

        All the same, I won’t apologize for expecting better. And I don’t understand why it’s considered outrageous to identify these glaring gaps and inconsistencies. The game-changer who pledges to bring in a private sector auditor to identify wasteful spending won’t release a fully-costed platform of his own? As Christine Van Geyn, Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, noted earlier this month, “It is important that Mr. Ford provide an overview of his spending commitments and give specifics of where money can be saved so that voters can hold him to account on those promises. Gimmicks and broken promises of previous governments’ aside, voters are entitled to this information so they can make an informed choice. It is also important that the government provide financial statements that the public can trust, but Mr. Ford is trying to prove to the public that he is the better option. He should act like it.”

        If anyone really thinks that a would-be government sworn to doing away with deficit spending starting with a $6B savings upon assuming office is going to start cutting municipalities $1B cheques (the definition of throwing a party with taxpayers’ money), they need to give their head a shake.

  4. jim graham

    April 23rd, 2018

    your an anonymous fraudster, green with envy, who wouldn’t know “better” if it bit them. Half a cup? Sounds about right. Half empty.

    If anyone really believes Liberals somehow have access to cash that Conservatives could never find, they really need to stop banging their heads against that wall. Accrual accounting? Please.

    I’ve never “had you wrong” ….your transparent, pathetic, and gutless.
    And this is well established.


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