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Bratina wants Parliamentary Budget officer to probe LRT contribution

Bratina wants Parliamentary Budget officer to probe LRT contribution

Hamilton East Stoney Creek MP Bob Bratina has formally asked the Parliamentary Budget Office to review the Hamilton LRT funding commitment announced by Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna.

The request is asking for the PBO to review two major aspects of the LRT Funding Commitment. 

 “I’m asking the PBO to determine if the Hamilton LRT project fully complies with the “Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program” criteria, and whether the announced project cost and funding is adequate to achieve the objectives of the project.”

The Hamilton LRT project has been controversial since its inception 14 years ago. As of today City Council has not been updated on the project’s  direct impact on Hamilton taxpayers through  operation, maintenance and other funding requirements.

MP Bratina has reiterated his position on the need to explore other transit options

“LRT is not a transit solution for Hamilton.   Metrolinx’s own business case summary to the Province states it will simply ‘provide more attractive travel options’.  According to to the  Metrolinx report Bus Rapid Transit provides a better cost benefit ratio in a medium growth scenario than light rail. 

MP Bob Bratina welcomes the much needed Federal Investment into transit in Hamilton but believes that the government’s insistence that funding be tied specifically to an LRT infringes on City Council’s responsibility to effectively prioritize solutions for the city. As the Municipal Act of Ontario 2001 states, “It is the role of council to determine which services the municipality provides” and “to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality”

MP Bratina argues that “This deal came out of the blue a year after the project was cancelled by the Province due to its prohibitive cost. Federal  funding provides $1.7 billion dollars to the City with the proviso that the city can only use funds for light rail despite the strong division among residents over it.

Furthermore, MP Bratina is extremely concerned  that major funding decisions can occur on the whim of a minister who has consulted only like-minded individuals who support what he describes as a ‘pet project’. 

As the former mayor of Hamilton and MP for Hamilton East Stoney Creek, I was never consulted on this project, and my repeated messages to ministers involved were ignored or dismissed.”

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  • Bratina is correct.Billions for a better ride that’s what they are selling here.He is also correct that a LRT system is not the right transit choice for a city on two levels.A transit improvement needs to serve both upper and lower transit needs.Foolish to think other wise.Mr.Beatina has the courage to speak up and demand a investigation.

  • Maureen Wilson is on Twitter calling Bratina a petulant child yet last December she chased Ms Mulroney from the Sheraton to 119 King St in a crazed frenzy, like a mad woman.

    Ms Wilson could care less about the homeless as she rattles off language about the bad air. She even posted on Twitter some time ago parks are not for the homeless and their tents. Only for neighbors. I ask where are they to go if there is no housing???

    Did I not read an article a week or so ago that she abstained from a vote because her husband has long fingers into the consortium that will only built 5% of the total units as affordable housing that today would be $1,333.00, that is above ODSP and OW. Not likely the price once built, so never will it be affordable social housing.

    Yes one can see her and husbands vision for the city, those struggling will be shipped where, into gulags, out of sight, out of mind???

    She reeks of colonialism, keeping the status quo in place, all the while stepping on the poor.

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