In blog postings, letters to the editor and in at least some political circles we are repeatedly told that Hamilton City Council is unanimous in its support for LRT. The Bay Observer has canvassed council twice on this issue; and while some councillors have not replied, those that have paint a far different picture than the unanimity that is portrayed. They are unanimous that if we get LRT we should not have to pay a dime to build it. Some have even gone as far as saying we should not have to pay anything for the increased operating costs estimated by Metrolinx at over $12 Million per year. Here is a question we should be asking ourselves; “If instead of offering us LRT, the province offered us transit cash to spend as we see fit, would LRT still be our number one priority?” The only suburban councillor who is strongly on-record as favouring LRT is Lloyd Ferguson, and for him it is because he believes LRT will trigger ancillary development. Councillors Merulla and Collins have expressed misgivings about the cost of the project in past. Councillor Brad Clark says the only reason Hamilton went for LRT is because the province pushed it as the only option and promised they would pay the bill. This is true, LRT did not arise out of a transit needs study that concluded we needed LRT. Instead we were offered LRT at the outset and then spent $9 Million on studies and public relations exercises trying to make it look plausible for Hamilton. There has not been a serious look at any option other than the Eastgate-to-McMaster B Line, and no attempt to come up with a connection between LRT and our GO hubs. It like having your doctor tell you, “I don’t care what’s wrong with you—I am going to perform brain surgery.”

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