Special Report: Light Rail

Light Rail Transit Support Letters from Area MP, MPPs

Letters from seven Hamilton-area MPs and MPPs from two different political parties call on Council to re-affirm its support for the LRT project currently underway.

By RTH Staff
Published June 21, 2016

A letter signed by six Hamilton-area MPs and MPPs from two different political parties calls on Hamilton City Council to "re-affirm its commitment to continue working with Metrolinx on the $1-billion, fully-funded-by-the-province" light rail transit system.

The letter is signed by NDP MPs David Christopherson of Hamilton Centre and Scott Duvall of Hamilton Mountain, Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale and NDP MPPs Andrea Horwath of Hamilton Centre, Paul Miller of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek and Monique Taylor of Hamilton Mountain.

Setting partisanship aside, the undersigned write that LRT "will be a great benefit and building it is the right thiing to do for our community."

The letter notes the many benefits of LRT: new investments and jobs, economic uplift, rising property assessment, improved employment opportunities and better connection among Hamiltonians and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. "Our great city will, without doubt, become even greater."

That letter comes just a few days after another letter written by Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas MP Filomena Tassi, which celebrates Council's previous votes in support of LRT and calls on Council to "move the dialogue forward with all three levels of government and provide Hamilton with the best decisions for future planning."

The letter also announces the federal commitment of $120 billion in infrastructure investment over ten years with an emphasis on socially supportive and environmentally sustainable projects.

The objectives for the federal funding "include supporting projects that will revitalize and grow our economy, protect our communities from the very real impacts of climate change and support the social integration and inclusion of everyone in our communities."

Following is the text of the letter from six MPs and MPPs:

Open letter from Hamilton MPs & MPPs

We, the undersigned Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament, believe that Light Rail Transit will be a great benefit and building it is the right thing to do for our community.

LRT will attract new investment and new jobs. It will mean rising property values and assessments, which will benefit everyone in the city. It will mean significant economic uplift, not only for the downtown, but for the entire city. The LRT will link communities together, connecting people with employment opportunities across the entire city. LRT will help to connect Hamiltonians and build a cohesive community across neighbourhoods.

An LRT in Hamilton, will change the way people commute, encouraging them to leave their fossil fuel burning cars at home which will help to reduce GHG emissions and the city's carbon footprint. We must do everything we can to fight climate change and light rail transit is an essential part of a carbon emission reduction strategy.

In short, LRT will only accelerate what everyone already senses: that there is increasing energy and vitality in Hamilton. Our great city will, without doubt, become even greater.

Council naturally has very legitimate questions, and will continue to throughout the life of this initiative, since not every question can be answered immediately due to its large scope and necessarily complicated implementation. We appreciate its vigilance.

We urge Council to re-affirm its commitment to continue working with Metrolinx on the $1-billion, fully-funded-by-the-province, LRT initiative.

Respectfully,

David Christopherson, MP
Hamilton Centre

Scott Duvall, MP
Hamilton Mountain

Andrea Horwath, MPP
Hamilton Centre

Ted McMeekin, MPP
Ancaster-Flamborough-Ancaster-Westdale

Paul Miller, MPP
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek

Monique Taylor, MPP
Hamilton Mountain

Following is the text of Tassi's letter:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Open Letter from Filomena Tassi, MP Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

I am proud to be a Hamilton Member of Parliament and proudly supportive of our government's plan to invest $120 billion in infrastructure over the next 10 years. This targets investments in public transit and green and social infrastructure.

It will create good jobs, make our communities better places to live, and it will grow the middle class.

As the Prime Minister stated in his speech to representatives of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) earlier this month, this is "a plan that adjusts to each and every community. It is a plan that gives communities themselves the power to make crucial decisions."

We are focused on giving municipal governments and local stakeholders decision making powers because, as he stated to the FCM, "you know what your communities need. We can't tell you whether you need light rail or subways, better bridges or climate resilient infrastructure. That's your job as municipal leaders - to tell us what you need, and how the federal government can help."

So what role will the federal government play? We will set objectives for investment.

Those objectives include supporting projects that will revitalize and grow our economy, protect our communities from the very real impacts of climate change and support the social integration and inclusion of everyone in our communities.

Whether it be the discussion on the plans for the LRT here in Hamilton or any other ambitious project for green and social infrastructure, I have full confidence in our local leaders - be they elected or simply passionately engaged as citizens - to move the dialogue forward with all three levels of government and provide Hamilton with the best decisions for future planning.

I am very proud to say that I support Hamilton City Council's several successful resolutions that choose LRT as a way forward for improved transit infrastructure in our great and thriving city.

Sincerely,

Filomena Tassi
Member of Parliament, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 22, 2016 at 16:04:32

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Comment edited by ref_erendum on 2016-06-22 16:06:25

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 25, 2016 at 09:13:35

"Metrolinx and city staff have confirmed that operational details of LRT still need to be negotiated and there is no scenario under which the City would maintain and operate the LRT, but the revenues would go to a third party!" ( Third party meaning a Metrolinx Division collecting revenues from our b line .

Apparently you skipped the line that said "Municipalities are already struggling to pick up the year to year operational costs" for transit. I guess Hamilton is on that exemption list. THE DETAILS MAY NOT BE IRONED OUT BUT THE SCENARIO HOLDS TRUE IN EVERY CASE TO DATE

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/673837...

These comments simply don't fall from the sky and are not scripted by supporters of the LRT.

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