Alarmed at seeing the Hamilton LRT project discussed everywhere but at Hamilton City Council, members of Hamilton’s General Issues Committee put their collective foot down today. At issue was what was termed an information report requiring no action by council. Staff had prepared a report indicating that the government planned to add the Hamilton LRT project to four other GTHA transit projects that will be covered under the Building Transit Faster Act. The act, aimed at fast tracking transit allows priority transit projects to bypass local zoning and expropriation acts. Over a debate of approximately an hour members of council voiced their displeasure at the way the Hamilton LRT project had suddenly become a three-way conversation between the Province, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and the Labourers International Union.
Councillor Brad Clark kicked off the discussion commenting that the province seems to think Hamilton council is onside with LRT.
Meanwhile . said Clark the project seems to have taken on a life of its own.
Councillor Tom Jackson wondered why Metrolinx hasn’t responded to a request by Council for an information session.
Councillor Partridge wanted to know how there can be talks with the federal government about funding an LRT when nobody knows how long the line will be
Mayor Fred Eisenberger may well have regretted mentioning, as he has repeatedly since the 2018 election, that the election was a referendum on LRT and He won.
Two councillors who were thought to be staunch LRT supporters, John-Paul Danko and Nrinder Nann suggested they might be open to other transit options.
For Danko, it was the prospect of BRT serving his ward.
Councilor Nann called for a city-wide transit option, pointing out that the cancelled LRT had done harm to her Ward 3.
Council voted to ask the Province for more time to comment on its proposal to designate the Hamilton project for any fast tracking process until the Minister of Transport Caroline Mulroney and somebody from Metrolinx could appear before council for a fulsome discussion of all alternatives.