The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce issued this statement in response to today's sudden cancellation of the Hamilton light rail transit project.
By RTH Staff
Published December 16, 2019
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is shocked and disappointed to learn that Premier Doug Ford has reneged on his government’s repeated, firm commitment to fully fund the B-Line LRT project in Hamilton.
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce serves as the definitive voice of local business, addressing the concerns of our 1,000 members and the wider business community. For years, the Chamber has advocated in support of the LRT project and stressed the economic and social benefits of the light rail project with the provincial government.
Hamilton has seen unprecedented investment along the B-line since the province committed to funding the LRT. In fact, the city experienced a 500% increase in new residential units downtown.
The provincial government has already spent 11 years and $184 million of taxpayer funds on B-line LRT, including $80 million in property acquisitions throughout Hamilton. To date, 60 full properties have been purchased by the Province. The promised investment has unlocked hundreds of millions of dollars of development in Hamilton’s lower city.
“It’s hard to hear the province’s ‘Open for Business’ mantra without laughing. This decision directly harms business and private investment in our city”, said Keanin Loomis, President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
“Furthermore, it is irresponsible and reckless management of hard earned tax dollars. The Province owes Hamilton a $1 billion investment in transit that will have the same long-term, city-building impact as LRT.”
Leading up to today, Chamber staff have had numerous, positive conversations regarding the LRT project with the respective Minister and Premier’s office, including a meeting that took place only five days ago at Queen’s Park. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce was looking forward to hosting Minister Mulroney in January.
“This government has confirmed their commitment to Hamilton LRT on numerous occasions,” explains Loomis, “This demonstrates their word is not to be trusted. Based on today’s announcement, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has formally revoked our invitation to Minister Mulroney, and canceled our upcoming event”.
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