Does Mayor Bratina really believe that languid take-it-or-leave-it passivity is a winning political strategy?
By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published January 31, 2013
A Toronto Star article highlights Mississauga's strong advocacy for full funding of the Hurontario LRT line:
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion says the only thing that can stop a proposed $1.5 billion LRT through her city is politics. City councillors, meanwhile, are already counting on Kathleen Wynne’s support to fund the plan.
We're making it extremely easy for the Province to spend $1.5 billion in Mississauga instead of $800 million in Hamilton. Don't forget that our project is essentially shovel-ready after five years of study.
And guess what, Mississauga's approach is working better than Hamilton's:
It appears that, like her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, [Kathleen] Wynne listens intently when McCallion speaks. The premier designate has stated that McCallion’s repeated emphasis on relieving gridlock throughout the GTA has hit home.
I was particularly intrigued by the passivity and vagueness of Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina's recent statement on LRT in his State of the City speech:
The issue for council is not whether or when we will get LRT. A comprehensive transit plan is coming forward soon that will provide options for solving today's challenges and addressing future needs.
He has effectively told Hamiltonians that Council has abdicated its responsibility on the LRT file, and he seems satisfied to accept passively whatever the Province decides to give Hamilton (after they are finished negotiating with Toronto and Mississauga).
He doesn't even state that LRT is a priority for Council, the way Mississauga's Mayor clearly has.
Talk about making it easy for the Province to shift Hamilton's strategically vital transit needs to the bottom of the priority list!
Why doesn't Bratina want $800 million (or more) spent on transit improvements in Hamilton, instead of in Toronto or Mississauga? Or does he really believe that languid take-it-or-leave-it passivity is a winning political strategy?
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