Believed Ted over Wynne

“back to the end of the line”

”Never LRT or Nothing”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ward 8 Councillor Terry Whitehead has copied the media in an email to citizens asked why he voted for LRET after spending most of a year knocking it. In the memo Whitehead suggested he paid more heed to the warnings of Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale MPP Ted Mc Meekin than the words of McMeekin’s boss, premier Wynne. Wrote Whitehead: “The province set up a fund to support cities in Ontario to implement higher order transit in their communities. The province made an announcement of one billion dollars tied to a specific plan and made it clear that any material changes to the plan would require us to forgo the billion dollars and reapply. Ideally, the province should have provided a greater level of flexibility for the city to provide a higher order of transit plan that would meet objectives that they set without tying the City of Hamilton to just one plan. Unfortunately, that was not the case and this made it very difficult for many around the Council table in their decision.”

Yet premier Wynne as recently as three days before council voted on the matter steadfastly refused a reporter’s invitation to declare it was “LRT or Nothing”. Instead she said the money was for transit and she was eager to hear what council had to say on the subject. Last year she actually used the words, “It was never LRT or nothing” in answer to a reporter’s question.

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

3 Comments to: Whitehead justifies his flip flop – Prefers McMeekin’s version to the Premier’s

  1. Demi

    May 22nd, 2017

    I’m perplexed by the assertion that the Premier’s “it’s never been LRT or nothing” comment is at odds with statements made by Minister McMeekin (and Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, and former Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig) when the latter have taken pains to explain that municipalities are free to change their minds, but that doing so would void memoranda of understanding and agreement and oblige said cities to begin the project funding cycle anew. That perspective is neither incompatible with the Premier’s stance nor with the terms of the funding program in question. Brampton kept LRT as a mode but altered half of their route, and doing so led them to forfeit $400M in project funding. Their council will now spend several million of their own money and up to seven years assembling all of the elements that go into a funding proposal for the project. Hamilton would be no different.

    Here’s an imperfect analogy. Think of infrastructure funding like making an online ticket purchase. There is a finite capacity that is far outstripped by demand. Go online the second that tickets go on sale and you might not get front row seats but you could be within 5 or 10 rows of the stage. You don’t have to purchase those tickets. You can release them back into the general pool where the next customer in line can snap them up. And you can keep doing that all day long in the hopes of getting front row seats with all-access passes gratis, but odds are you’ll either end up back in the nosebleeds or empty-handed.

    And because Hamilton has no funding-ready fallback proposal, there will be years of delay while council debates the best Plan B, builds political and public consensus, researches and consults and assembles the requisite documentation that would be submitted to the province for potential funding approval. Council went through this once before, over a decade ago. They put forward what they felt was their strongest project proposal, and even then were shocked when, some years later, funding was granted. But council can always start the process over again if they want to. There’s just no guarantee that they’ll get what’s they want the next time around. Plus, remembering that B-Line LRT was what council wanted unanimously for most of the last decade, there’s no guarantee that council won’t change its mind yet again even if funding were granted.

    Reply
  2. jim graham

    August 1st, 2017

    when advocates are forced to rely upon this sort of qualified support you know times have become truly desperate.

    Reply
  3. jim graham

    August 1st, 2017

    Terry has concluded better to ignore the Premier -and the majority of his constituents-and heed the warnings of a backbencher who will be embarrassed by a teenager in the next Provincial election.

    Reply

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