Special Report: Light Rail

Ontario Liberals Still Trying to Wiggle Out of LRT Commitment

Contrary to Premier Wynne's claim, Queen's Park has heard repeatedly and consistently from Hamilton that we support B-Line LRT with the promised full capital funding.

By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published June 10, 2014

In a recent recent article in the Spectator, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne claimed that the province needs to hear from the City of Hamilton about whether we want light rail transit (LRT) along the B-Line.

Contrary to that claim, she has heard repeatedly and consistently from Hamilton that we want LRT, with the full provincial capital funding that has been promised in 2007, 2011 and now again in 2014.

Rendering of planned LRT line
Rendering of planned LRT line

Council sent this message loud and clear when they submitted the extremely detailed Rapid Ready LRT report to the province last year. Even Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel pointed out in April that Council's position on LRT has been "steady as a pilot light".

It is disingenuous to claim that Hamilton's position is somehow not clear because a couple of local Liberal candidates from Stoney Creek and the Mountain don't support the B-line LRT project - especially as the Liberals have said they are working with Council, not the local MPPs, on the LRT file.

So when Premier Wynne told me back in February that she understood Hamilton hadn't yet made a decision, what she really meant was that the party had backed the nominations of two candidates whose platform is counter to both Council's clearly expressed request and the Liberals' longstanding promise to build "two light rail lines across Hamilton".

It would be just a bit too convenient for the Liberals to use their own candidates' opinions as an excuse for not keeping their promise to spend $800 million in Hamilton, especially as they have had seven years to follow through on it.

Now compare and contrast the Liberal and Conservative LRT strategies in Ottawa:

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says he is now open to funding the second phase of a light rail transit project in Ottawa as he tries to win over voters in the nation’s capital, days after saying he would not.

Ottawa currently has a Bus Rapid Transit system – one of the biggest in North America – but it has struggled with to keep up with ridership. The $2.1-billion LRT project will include 13 station stops to replace a large portion of the BRT, including 2.5 kilometres of underground tracks through downtown Ottawa.

Apparently, Ottawa, unlike Hamilton, actually deserves this sort of provincial investment. Even Hudak has changed tune to support Ottawa's LRT, but still won't support Hamilton's.

Nicholas Kevlahan was born and raised in Vancouver, and then spent eight years in England and France before returning to Canada in 1998. He has been a Hamiltonian since then, and is a strong believer in the potential of this city. Although he spends most of his time as a mathematician, he is also a passionate amateur urbanist and a fan of good design. You can often spot him strolling the streets of the downtown, shopping at the Market. Nicholas is the spokesperson for Hamilton Light Rail.

59 Comments

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:43:37

Today's editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay in the Spectator:

Blinders on

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2014-06-10 10:52:01

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By Byron Zorzos (anonymous) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:51:32

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:28:39 in reply to Comment 102258

This was never intended as a pro-active transportation infrastructure improvement but merely an exercise in salesmanship. Follow the money

Providing some documentation of this claim would go a long way to add credibility to your statement. Otherwise you're just another internet poster making an anti-LRT claim out of thin air. Sort of like people that post one comment on the internet and say they are a majority, based on, uh, nothing.

Anyway not to worry. Someone else will take the money and build proper transit for their citizens. Hamilton B line buses can continue to skip riders, while bike lanes throw people into rosebushes. Go ambitious Hamilton!

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:10:04 in reply to Comment 102258

amazing how many thousands of towns and cities around the world have been duped as well.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:07:11 in reply to Comment 102258

I get that you just don't like LRT but your comment doesn't actually follow any logical sense. You're basically making a Chewbacca defense here.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:17:28

The PCs are looking to take four seats in Ottawa, which is also the second largest city in the province (and its population has grown at a much faster rate than Hamilton, as has transit ridership).

The Liberals are looking to hold onto seats in Mississauga/Brampton (where, again, population and ridership have soared).

The NDP has the old city of Hamilton sewn up at the moment, but has little to no leverage.

Once seats are in play or in danger, unexpected windfalls may occur. That's how the LRT "commitment" came about in 2007, after all.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:28:05 in reply to Comment 102262

Minister McMeekin is the really disappointing one. He must know that LRT is a popular idea in Westdale, one of the key terminals for the project. But his seat is very safe, so he can toe the line and join the wafflers in his party.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:24:26 in reply to Comment 102263

It may be that their internal polls are showing that his seat is not so safe after all, which is why he has chosen to throw w under the bus to pander to adf. The fact that he chose to make his 'not a priority' announcement at a Mac debate shows you how little Westdale is figuring into his calculations.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 13:11:51

The province is broke. Don't you get it?

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 14:35:54 in reply to Comment 102271

Ontario is definitely not broke. One does not have to be a professional Accountant to see the vast sums of money being wasted by wealthy people in Ontario on frivolous luxuries. Or to see that repeated provincial tax cuts have put rates of taxation to the lowest they have been since WWII.

Proper rates of taxation would effectively transform much of that waste into useful investment in education, health care and, yes, public transportation.

Comment edited by KevinLove on 2014-06-10 14:36:12

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 12:04:12 in reply to Comment 102282

"Proper rates of taxation..."

I will take a wild guess at saying that these "Proper rates of taxation" will not affect your income.

You keep mentioning the "wealthy" or the "1 percent". These people are the ones who pay the bulk of the taxes in this country. Without them there would be a lot fewer hospitals, schools, social workers etc etc.

So sure go ahead and tax the heck out of these people. I'm sure they would have no problem taking their assets and skills to another much warmer country. After all, they can afford to leave - you can't.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 08:15:43 in reply to Comment 102330

Your "wild guess" would be totally wrong. I am a professional Accountant, and not quite poverty-stricken.

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By DissenterOfThings (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 15:39:39 in reply to Comment 102330

Yeah, raising the corporate tax rate by 1% is "taxing the hell out of them". Only the most devout neo-cons can delude themselves into believing this. If you think business and power is going to leave the most populous province in Canada over their taxes going up by a reasonable amount, you are in a dream world. They will be replaced immediately.

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By Crapitalist (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 12:39:31 in reply to Comment 102330

Oh spare me the "we'll pick up our toys and leave" threats from the rich crybabies. We got enough of that from Bob Young when we were trying to give him a $150 million stadium for free.

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2014 at 20:05:20 in reply to Comment 102334

You are correct. They have left in droves because of poor productivity (read labour cost per unit,) competition with low wage jurisdictions, American protectionism, etc. etc. Let em all leave and we can live on . . . what exactly?

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By DissenterOfThings (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 09:15:14 in reply to Comment 102355

More like shareholder primacy, if anything, is making short-sighted companies move. Once you take maximum-profit-at-all-costs off the table things look pretty damn productive in Ontario.

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 20:38:50 in reply to Comment 102282

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02...

There are myriad of examples of economic warnings that Ontario is reaching a threshold of debt that will reduce us to third world status. We already spend $11 billion a year on interest. Imagine what that number will be if interest rates rise to 1980's levels. We will be bankrupt.

Given that income redistribution is the largest single Ontario expense after wages, I cannot see how we are wasting money on wealthy people.

Comment edited by notlloyd on 2014-06-10 20:39:16

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By Interest (anonymous) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:14:15 in reply to Comment 102298

This is why interest is prohibited in Islamic law, and it's the real reason why Western powers don't want anything to do with truly Islamic governments. Don't be fooled by so-called human rights issues.

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2014 at 08:18:42 in reply to Comment 102300

Taking a portion of an investment is just interest by another name. Islamic lenders do not call what they take interest, but it is essentially the same thing by another name.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 13:28:12 in reply to Comment 102271

The province has a relatively high deficit and debt-to-GDP ratio, but it is not "broke". That's now how fiscal affairs work, and it is disingenuous to pretend otherwise. With a sluggish global economy, low interest rates, low labour market participation, low corporate investment and already-low corporate taxes, the government will not be able to cut its way to a balanced budget, and it certainly can't cut its way to healthy GDP growth.

Our economy is not slow because government is too big or taxes are too high; indeed, the Ontario government has done a better job of containing cost growth than other provinces, and our taxes are already among the lowest in North America.

Public spending is not crowding out private spending, so reducing it won't make room for private spending to grow. Rather, it will just further reduce aggregate demand, which will reduce GDP growth, reduce government revenues, increase government expenditures and make our deficit picture worse.

Unless we want to turn our liquidity trap into an actual depression, we should be taking this opportunity to finance legacy public projects that will actually deliver ongoing value to the overall economy - and LRT on the B-Line is perfectly in line with that goal.

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 20:54:31 in reply to Comment 102276

y = c + I + G +(x - m) Ontario only controls part of G. Given that the federal government controls money supply, interest and dollar value, Ontario grows debt at it's own risk.

I cannot see how it is "disingenuous" (pretending to know less that one does) to suggest that our rapidly expanding debt, primarily for social programs, leaves us with no money for capital or infrastructure investment. Isn't that exactly what it does?

Look at the US. Carve out too much money for food stamps and you lose Nasa and all the spin offs.

I agree with you though. We would be far wiser to spend money on transportation and infrastructure than on all day daycare. It is really a matter of priorities. (I doubt it, but maybe that was what "KevinLove" meant by wasting money on the wealthy.)

There is a significant ongoing debate about whether or not Keynes was correct in the long run in spending our way out of a depression. But Roosevelt spent money on dams and bridges and highways - not daycare.

Comment edited by notlloyd on 2014-06-10 20:58:15

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2014 at 08:02:48 in reply to Comment 102299

I wrote that because it's cheap, rhetorical nonsense to use the word "broke" in the context of a government.

We're running large deficits mainly because: a) revenues are significantly down due to the global economic downturn; and b) revenues are down due to two decades of incremental tax rate cuts, especially to corporations and top marginal income earners, and generous corporate subsidies. (Unfortunately, most of the subsidies have gone to large, mature companies that are shedding jobs rather than small, young companies that are creating new jobs.)

Against this cumulative revenue shortfall, program spending has actually been fairly well contained, compared to other provinces. The province's debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 32% in 2000 to 26% in 2007, before climbing to 39% this year in the wake of the Great Recession.

The most promising route out of deficit is by continuing to hold the line on spending and by growing the economy. Again, the reason the economy is growing slowly is not because government is too big or because public deficits or debts are too high. Our deficit and debt are too high, but they are not the cause of slow growth, and cutting spending to balance the budget will only slow growth further, which will push us farther away from a balanced budget.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 10:02:30 in reply to Comment 102316

It is also important to remember that the Ontario government, like most other OECD governments since the 1980s, has made a deliberate choice to reduce taxes (especially on the wealthy) and instead borrow money (from the wealthy).

Borrowing from the wealthy instead of taxing the wealthy is a political choice with significant consequences for society.

The government can choose to raise revenue from taxes or borrowing, but because the wealthiest 20% own 88% of the wealth (and the top 1% own 36% of wealth) [US figures, although Canada and the rest of the OECD shows similar shares] this choice is doubly beneficial to the wealthy and doubly harmful to the bottom 80%: the wealthy pay less taxes and they are paid interest on money they loan to the government. And this interest is, of course paid from taxes, of which the wealthiest are now paying a smaller share!

The balance between government borrowing and taxation is a political decision and the political decisions made since the 1980s have clearly benefitted the wealthiest at the expense of the majority.

In addition, the choice to target low inflation rates also helps creditors and removes one of the most efficient (and relatively painless) ways of eliminating the debt: inflation naturally decreases the debt to GDP ratio, and it doesn't require particularly high inflation rates. This is the way OECD countries eliminated their massive post-WWII debts (including Germany, which ironically is now one of the toughest hawks on very low inflation targets).

In this context, the claim that the only solution to high debt levels is to cut spending is indeed disingenuous!

McMaster's Michael Veall has done a lot of interesting research on this (although focusing on income rather than wealth inequality): https://www.economics.mcmaster.ca/facult...

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-06-11 10:17:13

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2014 at 11:38:20 in reply to Comment 102323

I guess that depends on how you define wealthy. One of the major investors in Ontario bonds are public sector unions. The majority of Ontario's debt is held by the general public.

There is no automatic correlation between the wealth holding of the top 1% of the population (which pays about 33% of the taxes)and the holding of Ontario debt.

If you break it down even further, the top .1% of wealth holders hold a vastly disproportionate share of wealth and pay even less tax as a proportion of their wealth, but a far greater share of taxes in proportion to their numbers.

So, if you want to stop borrowing money from those wealthy public sector union members go ahead. My point was that union members are free to lend to whoever they want and they will stop lending to the Ontario government if it is too risky.

(Also - Ontario is not a OECD government - it is a province. It cannot set monetary policy.)

Ontario has not reduced taxes. It has reduced corporate taxes. Income taxes, surcharges, HST and user fees have risen consistently in my lifetime. Remember that corporations are way stations. They pay their employees who are taxed on that income, some tax on annual income at a certain rate and then when they pay dividends to their shareholders, those are taxed as income. When you combine them, the marginal rate is consistent with the general population. IOW, all they do is defer taxes so that companies can re-invest capital. They are vehicles of wealth that serve their employees who earn their income through the corporation and are taxed accordingly, and through their shareholders who own the capital. It is arguable that they should pay no income tax at all and that all taxes should be on dividends or capital gains.

Comment edited by notlloyd on 2014-06-11 11:47:49

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 12:53:31 in reply to Comment 102329

Capital (i.e. wealth) includes pension holdings, so the wealth breakdown already includes things like public sector pension funds allocated to individuals. Capital includes anything that can be irrevocably exchanged and is primarily made up of financial capital, real estate and industrial capital. For most middle class Canadians their only real capital is their residence (unless they have a well-funded pension plan). The poorest 50% have essentially no net capital (once debts are included). The favourable tax treatment of income from capital (compared to from labour) is an important part of inequality.

In the United States 70% of capital is held by the wealthiest 10%, while even in Scandinavia the proportion is 50%, while only 5% of capital is held by the poorest 50% in the US. Capital inequality is far more severe than wage inequality (35% and 25% respectively for richest 10% and poorest 50% in the US).

The top marginal tax rate in Ontario has dropped dramatically since 1980, http://ywcacanada.ca/data/research_docs/... charts 8 and 9 and we all remember the 2% cut in GST.

Dividends and other investment income are taxed at much lower rates than wages, which again benefits the wealthy (that is why Romney paid such a low overall income tax).

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-06-11 13:03:50

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By CharlesBall (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 13:25:28 in reply to Comment 102336

With the proposed budget this will result in a combined (federal and Ontario) top marginal tax rate of 49.53% in 2013 (47.97% in 2012), an effective increase of 3.12% over the previous top tax rate of 46.41%.

I can't open your doc, but I have seen Chart 8, Where do you get top marginal rate have dropped dramatically since 1980? There was one dramatic cut from a top of about 69% to 51% in 1980-83. But since then it has fluttered about. It has risen each of the last three years.

Given that people can leave, the drop in the marginal tax rate was largely caused by changes in U.S. tax law and in response to a wicked recession with inflation.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is a union funded institution - hardly objective. You can get counter arguments from the Fraser Institute, but I doubt you would accept them as objective. (See http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/tax-freedom...

Comment edited by CharlesBall on 2014-06-11 13:45:44

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 13:18:58 in reply to Comment 102336

Most people think Canada does not have a wealth tax, but we do have one: property tax is essentially a wealth tax on the middle class (i.e. an annual tax based on the value of capital). We just don't have wealth taxes on other forms of capital.

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By CharlesBall (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 13:32:20 in reply to Comment 102343

This is true, save and except that corporations who own property are similarly taxed. So it is not "essentially" a wealth tax on the middle class.

In Toronto for example, commercial taxation keeps residential taxes low. Hamilton used to benefit from taxes on industrial land keeping residential taxes low. Now that industry has fled Hamilton, the residents face a higher tax burden to pay for services.

What is ultimately completely unfair is that property owners are forced to pay social welfare costs. There is arguable no correlation between owning a piece of property and having to pay for welfare.

Also, since you are taxed on the value of property and cannot write off the loan to purchase the property, you are taxed on a loan. Corporations can write off the interest and the property tax against their income. But then to compensate, they pay often more than double the tax of residential property.

Comment edited by CharlesBall on 2014-06-11 13:48:18

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 13:53:53 in reply to Comment 102345

I was thinking of wealth taxes that target individuals ... it is certainly true that corporations also pay this wealth tax on property they own but the only wealth tax on individuals is property tax that targets primarily the middle class.

The big drop in top marginal tax rates was in the early 1980s ... I didn't refer to the analysis in the report, only the data. The Fraser Institute certainly has its own biases as well, but the fact that income and wealth is extremely unequally distributed (as well as the fact that fact that the favourable tax treatment primarily benefits the wealthy and allows them to pay a much lower effective tax rate than the bottom 80%) is pretty uncontroversial.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-06-11 13:54:40

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2014 at 08:16:13 in reply to Comment 102316

I would agree with you in the context of a government that controls the money supply, but not the context of other governments. Municipalities (essentially corporations) and Provinces can go broke. Because taxation has an upper limit (the point where people flee or businesses shut down) a Province can effectively go bankrupt when people refuse to lend it money.

If Standard and Poors and such downgrades our debt, we can expect an interest rate hike of 1% or more - that's a billion a year on every 100 billion borrowed.

A provincial government can only significantly influence the economy through the G part of the equation which is Government expenditure and taxation. There can be no expenditure if there is no revenue.

Ontario is approaching its limit. We are not broke, but we are close.

Comment edited by notlloyd on 2014-06-11 08:16:40

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:33:57 in reply to Comment 102299

Then let's start laying some track on King Street.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2014 at 20:07:41 in reply to Comment 102303

Also get this hijacked topic back to LRT and Liberal shenanigans. These sorts of economic discussions are a red herring in the scheme of making Hamilton a better place to live. Don't feed the trolls, even if they use math.

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By Layin' Pipe (anonymous) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:48:43 in reply to Comment 102303

Get some of the johns down there trolling for a working girl to help. They're already laying pipe ;-)

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:27:08 in reply to Comment 102299

"...primarily for social programs..."

The largest item of provincial government spending is health care. In 2010-2011 it was 40.3% of the entire provincial budget.

Do you class health care as a "social program"?

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2014 at 08:21:26 in reply to Comment 102302

Health care is largely (as in almost all) wages. I said "outside" of wages.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 08:43:57 in reply to Comment 102320

"Almost all?"

Really? Got any source for this assertion?

I live in Durand, close to St. Joseph's Hospital. That looks like a pretty hefty capital investment in land and buildings. Which require ongoing maintenance and utilities costs. And is full of expensive medical equipment. Which also incur hefty maintenance and utilities costs.

Multiply that by all the hospitals and clinics across Ontario.

Drugs are also not cheap.

Please be so kind as to provide some evidence to support your assertion.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 13:23:35 in reply to Comment 102271

And it's not going to get any less broke. We're still going to be building massive LRT and horrendously expensive subway projects everywhere but Hamilton. An LRT line would be a boon to Hamilton's development and an investment in a sustainable future for the city, just like the ones that Mississauga and Ottawa will get.

Even if the Cons won, the province would stay broke - while they'll slash spending, they'll shunt the money into corporate tax cuts and an expressway that nobody but 407 ETR Concession Company and suburban sprawl homebuilders want. Still broke.

Maybe the Cons and the Liberals could work together to produce some balanced-spending future for the Province... but instead the Cons stayed a "party of NO" and left the NDP to court the Liberals for concessions.

There are no fiscal conservatives running in this election. Get that.

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 13:53:31 in reply to Comment 102275

This so much! The cons don't want to fund $2 billion a year for transit because we can't afford it, but they want to cut $2.5-$3 billion in corporate taxes AND spend $1.8 billion on a freeway - and somehow we are supposed to believe that they are the only sensible platform for fiscal responsibility. Doesn't add up!

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 14:40:09

I live in the Riding of Hamilton Centre. Whose current MPP, Andrea Horwath, has been largely missing in action when it comes to the one provincial project that will convey the greatest benefit upon her own riding.

My wife and I are definitely voting on June 12.

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By DudeLove (anonymous) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:49:51 in reply to Comment 102283

Same here. Extremely disappointed that she's been a ghost in our riding, calling an unnecessary election, and yet the people of Hamilton Centre are willing to hand her a majority. It's a shame, since the NDP has done nothing for our riding.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 14:43:28 in reply to Comment 102283

You may want to refer to the candidates' responses to the question of whether they support the B-Line LRT.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 22:25:33 in reply to Comment 102284

Yes i saw that would seem that Peter Ormonds comments are most in line with RTH... Of course voting green is a wasted vote ..... hopefully not next time ..

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2014 at 08:24:27 in reply to Comment 102309

It is not a wasted vote.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 23:26:03 in reply to Comment 102321

No one is saying it's a wasted vote.... guess Im just saying I wish more people could get it. I read the platform. Listened to the leader on CBC (most honest of the bunch).

They have my vote, why they don't have every one else's is beyond me .... A lack of media attention/endorsement may be the issue Which is exactly what the local green candidates need.

I'm sure RTH will write a last minute editorial endorsing the Green Party?

hopefully not next time,.. but this time

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 16:52:48 in reply to Comment 102357

rednic says this:

Of course voting green is a wasted vote .....

But, 2 lines earlier, said this:

No one is saying it's a wasted vote....

YOU JUST SAID IT WAS, THEN IT WASN'T? MAKE UP YOUR MIND. It'll be hard for anyone to take you seriously.

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2014-06-12 16:53:47

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By Wasted vote? (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 05:51:36 in reply to Comment 102309

Again, you are wrong.

It's OK to vote with your conscience, especially in a riding where last time the incumbent received 60% of the vote. I believe each party still gets a dollar amount for each vote their party receives so is it truly wasted?

Your nonsensical comment has no place here. Defeatism isn't cool, man.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted June 11, 2014 at 23:30:50 in reply to Comment 102311

if you want troll ... do it on an account

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 15:52:12 in reply to Comment 102284

Andrea Horwath, of course, did not respond to the question. Typical.

When we get to the polls on June 12, my wife and I will be sending our response to her.

Comment edited by KevinLove on 2014-06-10 15:55:45

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 16:53:23 in reply to Comment 102289

In the interest of accuracy, she has consistently stated her - and her party's - support for Hamilton's B-Line LRT. It is part of their election campaign.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 18:42:11 in reply to Comment 102293

Andrea Horwath has consistently torpedoed the revenue tools to pay for the LRT in her riding, and for the rest of The Big Move. It is one thing to say she supports it, but without the money to pay for it, that support is mere lip service.

I support the stated social justice goals of the NDP. But without putting on the table the taxes to pay for them, we once again have idle lip service.

Good things cost money. Politicians who are afraid to talk about how to pay for the goals they support are not taken seriously in my family.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:18:03 in reply to Comment 102295

I wish Greens had a serious chance. They have clear ideas on where to find savings, even if they might be unpopular - kill energy subsidies, amalgamate the school boards, etc.

My only problem with the green party is their hard-line opposition to nuclear power (if we're facing a global cataclysm in climate shift, nuclear should be on the table). I'd take them in spite of that if they had real momentum... but really, you can't build a party on environmentalist policy wonks, sadly.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-06-10 21:18:20

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:49:17 in reply to Comment 102301

"I'd take them in spite of that if they had real momentum..."

They will only get momentum if people vote for them.

My beef with nuclear power is not only environmental, it is extremely expensive. Renewable energy, particularly hydroelectric, can be much cheaper. The cost of electricity from Niagara Falls is about 2 cents per KwH.

For example, 100 years ago there was a hydroelectric installation in Brantford. Today we can go there and watch the Grand River flowing over the dam totally wasted.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 21:56:05 in reply to Comment 102306

I'm not saying nuclear is a must-have, just that the option should be on the table.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 19:07:21 in reply to Comment 102295

Thank you for sparking a wonderful discussion with my wife. We agreed upon just exactly when we decided how to vote on June 12.

That was when the present government showed great courage in putting on the table all the revenue tools to pay for The Big Move. And Andrea Horwath rejected every one of them.

It is not necessary to be a professional Accountant to realize that The Big Move (including Hamilton's LRT) is not going to happen without the taxes to pay for it.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 14:51:33 in reply to Comment 102284

Relatedly, I was looking at that page and noticed something - there is no full view of "what are all the responses for all the candidates within a riding?", or at least no link that displays this view. That seems like the right listing for users that are trying to make a decision within their riding - a single-page listing of everything you know about that riding (incl. candidate responses). Jumping from response to response otherwise seems a bit cumbersome.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 10, 2014 at 15:02:58 in reply to Comment 102285

That's a really good idea, and it wouldn't be that hard to implement. I probably won't have time to do it before June 12, but I'll definitely do it before the upcoming municipal election.

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By Hey lolls (anonymous) | Posted June 10, 2014 at 22:53:05

Health care is 90% labour. It is a social program but can't be cut.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 08:48:44 in reply to Comment 102310

Source?

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By I_Want_That (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 15:10:30

thesource.ca

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