By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published February 14, 2013
In a recent article on the City's five-year transportation plan (Abigail Cukier, "City set to release five-year transportation plan", YourHamiltonBiz.com, February 13, 2013 - behind a paywall), the reporter seeks a statement from Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina on the city's light rail transit (LRT) plans.
Mayor Bob Bratina said he could not discuss the LRT at this time. In an email, the mayor's chief of staff Peggy Chapman wrote that the mayor "needs council direction ... and until council is presented with all the information he can't demand anything."
It is funny how the mayor is willing to speak openly on other policy items - like the proposed downtown casino - in the absence of council direction, but he refuses to say a word in support of Hamilton's LRT plan unless Council forces his hand.
In this case, Council has already endorsed LRT in multiple votes, provided that the line is funded by the province.
According to Bratina's own reasoning, he should at least be willing to say something like, "Council supports Hamilton's LRT plan, provided that the province agrees to pay for it through the Metrolinx Investment Strategy."
Why can't Bratina at least ask the Province to pay for it, just like Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion?
Disclosure: I was also interviewed for the article.
(with files from Ryan McGreal)
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