By Letter to the Editor
Published July 21, 2011
The Mayor supports Light Rail - but we don't know why.
In an email response to a letter from the Durand Neighbourhood Association in support of LRT, Mayor Bratina claims to "personally strongly endorse Light Rail Transit," while having doubts about the specifics of the B-Line project.
That almost got our hopes up, but Bratina then went on to fire off refutations to almost everything we like about LRT. He argues:
One begins to wonder where such principled support ever came from, amongst all the negatives.
Particularly we take issue with the assertion of all-day GO service as superior to, and in competition with, light rail. Both are false:
LRT is a permanent investment in making the whole City of Hamilton a more attractive place to live and a invest. It also defines Hamilton as a progressive urban centre, not just another suburb. Furthermore, the province will pay 100% of the direct costs, while we reap the benefits (the benefits of GO expansion will be spread over the whole Hamilton-Niagara region).
Most importantly, there is no reason to set GO in opposition to LRT. We can, and should, have both and Metrolinx has indicated that both are priorities.
However, maybe the most worrying aspect of the Mayor's position is in regard to Metrolinx potentially funding 100% of the capital cost for LRT in Hamilton. To that point, Bratina states, "We can always negotiate with our funding partners in that regard." Let's hope he does not take a page of Rob Ford's book.
We urge our Mayor, if he really does endorse LRT, to find something positive to say about it. If we're doing it wrong, tell us how to do it right! If there are too unanswered questions, find the answers! Don't tell us how it could fail, work to make it succeed!
Don't quit before you've started.
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