By Letter to the Editor
Published July 07, 2011
Dear Mayor Bratina & Members of Council:
On behalf of the REALTORS(r) Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) and our 2,500 members we are writing to reiterate our full support for the development of light rail transit (LRT) in Hamilton. We first expressed this support in May of 2008, and over the three years since, city staff have done an excellent job of engaging the businesses and residents of Hamilton and given shape and vision to light rail in the city; making the case for support even stronger.
We understand that some in our community and more notably some around the council table have voiced concern over the potential costs of light rail. We strongly believe, however, that light rail transit needs to be seen as an investment in our future, not simply an expense in the present. We are part of a large group of citizens who believe that Hamilton is on the brink of becoming a remarkable city, and we hope that Council can provide the push that the city needs to realize that future.
In order to achieve this goal we need to be forward thinking in our plans for the future, and we believe that light rail is one of the best ways to achieve many of the goals of the city. These include, but are not limited to: revitalization of the downtown core, intensification along main corridors, increased economic development and broadening of the tax base.
As Paul Bedford noted in his keynote address at last month's Jobs Prosperity Collaborative Luncheon, fixed rail attracts investment, buses don't. With other communities in southern Ontario moving forward on their plans to build light rail, Hamilton risks losing business to municipalities which have committed to develop this infrastructure.
As an association, RAHB has adopted a number of guiding principles to demonstrate the commitment of the real estate profession to improve quality of life by supporting policies that encourage economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build community. Light rail transit will help achieve many of these principles.
We urge you to commit to Council's previous unanimous decision to pursue light rail transit (LRT) as the preferred option for the future of this city.
REALTORS(r) Association of Hamilton-Burlington
Ann Forbes Arndt, 2011 President
Tim Mattioli, 2011 Government Relations Chair
Ross Godsoe, CEO
Megan Platts, Manager, Government & External Relations
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