Councillor Clark will bring forward a motion at the October 28 Council meeting to call on the Province to commit to funding LRT in Hamilton.
By Ryan McGreal
Published September 27, 2011
this article has been updated
Councillor Brad Clark will bring forward a motion [PDF] at the September 28, 2011 Council meeting calling on City to "request confirmation on LRT commitment from the Province to fully fund Capital for two LRT lines and use of Gas Tax for operating costs".
Meanwhile, another motion on LRT by Councillor Jason Farr will be presented to the upcoming October 13 General Issues Committee (GIC) meeting. During that same meeting, City Manager Chris Murray will present an update on the status of the City's LRT planning to Councillors.
Farr's motion calls on Council to "re-affirm its position in support of pursuing a full investigation of LRT over time" and to request "a second phase of funding from Metrolinx" so "Hamilton can continue to prepare its case for LRT." The motion also affirms that "pursuit of all-day GO Transit service" is the City's "highest priority in the short term."
Clark's motion, on the other hand, points out that the Province promised Hamilton two LRT lines and that municipalities would not have to contribute capital costs toward the $17.5 billion MoveOntario 2020 plan. It notes that $9.5 billion has already been committed to the Sheppard LRT, Eglinton LRT, York VIVA, Scarborough LRT and Finch LRT without requiring capital contributions from the local municipalities.
Clark said last summer that he believes Hamilton needs to get confirmation from the Province that it will fund Hamilton's LRT before devoting more time and energy to LRT planning. This suggests his motion might put the City in an all-or-nothing situation in which a refusal by the Province to commit would result in the city's LRT plan shutting down entirely.
Farr's motion, in contrast, takes a go-slow approach that would keep the City's LRT plan alive but would not commit either the City or the Province to ensure its completion.
The best thing at this point would be for Clark and Farr to work together to find common ground on a shared motion that ensures the best hope of success for Hamilton's LRT bid.
In the meantime, please take a few moments to send a clear message to the City and the Province that LRT is a priority for Hamiltonians and that they need to work together to bring it to completion.
Here is Clark's motion in full:
Council Date: September 28, 2011
MOVED BY ............COUNCILLOR B. CLARK........................
SECONDED BY ...................................................................
Request for Confirmation of LRT Commitment from the Province
Whereas on June 15, 2007, the Liberal Government announced "Move Ontario 2020" would develop $17.5 billion in 52 rapid transit projects;
And Whereas the Province promised that GTA municipalities would not contribute to Capital;
And Whereas Hamilton was included in "Move Ontario 2020" with two LRT projects;
And Whereas on September 12, 2007, Premier McGuinty and local Liberal candidates promised Hamilton two LRT lines and said that the Conservatives would cancel the projects;
And Whereas on April 1, 2009, the MTO announced $3 million in grant to establish two LRT lines, EA, plans, etc.;
And Whereas on May 17, 2010, Metrolinx presented to the Metro Board of Trade that the Sheppard LRT, Eglinton LRT, York VIVA, Scarborough LRT and Finch LRT worth $9.5 billion would proceed at no cost to the TTC or Toronto;
And Whereas Hamilton, like Toronto, does not have the capacity to contribute to LRT.
Therefore Be It Resolved:
That the City of Hamilton request confirmation on LRT commitment from the Province to fully fund Capital for two LRT lines and use of Gas Tax for operating costs.
Introduced as Notice of Motion at September 14, 2011 Council
Update: This article originally stated that the Council meeting is October 28, 2011. It is actually September 28. You can jump to the changed paragraph.