On December 19th, the provincial government announced that the wasteful and unnecessary downtown LRT project has been cancelled. The province also confirmed that Hamilton will still get the Billion dollar investment through Metrolinx to pay for transit infrastructure. Because this is a provincial project, the province will create a taskforce of industry experts and leaders to consider innovative options for the $1 Billion. I’m encouraged by these next steps towards connecting our communities throughout Hamilton / Flamborough.
As many of you know, I have consistently not supported the LRT project, which also did not have unanimous support around the Council table. For the past several years, I, and many of my council colleagues have grown frustrated by the lack of transparency and cooperation from both our LRT planning staff and Metrolinx.
The true capital cost estimates known to be over $3 billion, plus the ongoing operating, maintenance, and lifecycle costs would have added nearly another billion dollars. There is no question that the LRT project would have increased your taxes, which directly affects affordability and everyone’s ability to stay in their homes and in the communities they love.
Hamilton has huge infrastructure and transportation needs. Caroline Mulroney’s recent announcement that the province will still invest the $1 Billion in our community on transportation and other approved projects is a once in a lifetime windfall that will benefit every corner of our city, not just the downtown corridor. I thank our provincial MPP Donna Skelly for fighting to keep that investment promise in Hamilton, and I look forward to continuing our good work together and working with the newly appointed taskforce to consider innovative options for our communities. We need to build a transit system that connects all communities across Hamilton.