As a federal Member of Parliament, Bob Bratina should not be sowing discord in the community he purportedly represents.
By Rich Gelder
Published May 10, 2017
Dear Ms. Tassi,
I am writing to you as a constituent regarding an unsettling op-ed that appeared in today's Hamilton Spectator, written by your caucus-mate, Bob Bratina, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East - Stoney Creek.
I would consider writing Mr. Bratina directly, but I don't think he really appreciates the damage he has wrought in penning what is essentially an attack on the most important city-building project this region has seen in at least a generation. Besides, you are my Member of Parliament and I think you might have some sway with your Liberal colleague.
It is, indeed, rich to see Mr. Bratina decry Hamilton City Council as "dysfunctional" - a Council over which he himself presided during his tenure as Mayor between 2010 and 2014, also having served as a Councillor for years prior to that, occasionally slinging writing utensils across the Council chamber.
But what is deeply disappointing is that, for once, the city has actually come together to finally support the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, which, in addition to bringing in a large amount of resources to address the infrastructure deficit in Hamilton, will launch a revolution in how we get around this city.
It is upsetting that, now that the community is finally coming together and actively talking about how businesses in the LRT corridor can be supported during the temporary upheaval caused by construction, your Commons colleague has chosen to re-ignite and pour gasoline on a recently-extinguished fire.
As a federal Member of Parliament, Mr. Bratina should not be sowing discord in the community he purportedly represents. Does he not have bigger, or at least more federal, fish to fry? (Steelworker pensions come immediately to mind.)
Shouldn't he be a cheerleader for his community, particularly in areas for which he does not have immediate jurisdictional oversight?
I shudder to think of the prospect of the likes of Mr. Bratina as a federal minister with infrastructure or cities as part of his portfolio. Rather, it seems as though he is more interested in settling old political scores at the expense of what is right for Hamilton.
I am asking you, as my Member of Parliament, to use whatever influence you have to rein Mr. Bratina in, for his musings are damaging for the long-term prosperity of the city.
I know you care about the riding you represent, and the well-being of the region as a whole. I need not point out that every City Councillor in areas overlapping your constituency voted recently to support LRT going forward, being Wards 1, 8, 12 and 13.
Please do what you can to encourage Mr. Bratina to, at the very least, not be a barrier to this project and this city moving forward.
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