Appearing on the Bill Kelly Show Tuesday, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MP Bob Bratina elaborated on his decision to break with his party over the LRT. He told Kelly that he doesn’t know whether the $3.4 Billion that the province and the Federal government are proposing to spend on the Hamilton transit project will even be enough. He said he wants to see if the federal contribution of $1.7 Billion complies with existing infrastructure cost-sharing plans. Ottawa contributed to LRT projects in several Canadian cities but in almost every case the municipality was asked to contribute a share of capital costs, unlike the Hamilton proposition. “I can’t figure it out, and I don’t think half of council can figure it out,” Bratina told Kelly.
He disputed the statement frequently made by both Minister McKenna and Mulroney that the project is “shovel ready.” “This project cannot go into the ground for the better part of two years,” he said. He discussed the greater walking distances people will encounter getting to an LRT stop. There are 53 bus stops between Eastgate Square and McMaster University—when you put the LRT in, there’s 17 stops—that better, really?” He also noted that not only he, as the MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek not in favour of LRT, but the three Hamilton City Councillors representing Stoney Creek are also against it.
The full interview follows: