Special Report: Light Rail

Letter: Great Leaders Make Decisions Based on Big Picture

Being able to look beyond the minutiae and see the bigger picture is what many of the world's best leaders are known for and has always being a primary catalyst for getting things done.

By Tyler Pearson
Published April 26, 2017

I want to reach out to Council regarding the Wednesday, April 26, 2017 City Council meeting and reiterate just how important moving forward with the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is for the City of Hamilton.

As you may know, I've also been very vocal about my position surrounding LRT, as outlined on the cover of the April 18, 2017 issue of the Hamilton Spectator.

As a businessman who has invested millions of dollars into the City of Hamilton over the last handful of years, I feel obligated to let you know that it would be a major catalyst for us to begin shifting our focus and capital base to other, more forward-thinking cities if the LRT should not move forward.

As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. As a result, I find it extremely concerning that certain City Councillors opposing the LRT are basically playing a game of chicken with the province when it comes to an unprecedented $1Billion investment.

One Councillor who is opposing the LRT actually just told me yesterday, "The City's Director of Finance estimates that upwards of $600 million could be secured for infrastructure improvements if the $1 billion should not materialize."

My immediate response to this is the $600 million is not guaranteed - unlike the $1 billion - and even if the $600 million was approved, it still is a whooping $400 million less than what we have a guaranteed commitment for.

I have no problem stating that the LRT strategy is not perfect, nor will it ever be. However, I'd rather have a slightly flawed LRT system that can be improved over time as opposed to no LRT, which is what we are absolutely facing.

I can appreciate Council's relentless pursuit to gather all of the information and facts on this matter but the reality is we will never have every single answer, nor will anyone.

All great leaders make decisions every day without having all of the facts; it's quite frankly an indisputable proven trait of being a great leader. Being able to look beyond the minutiae and see the bigger picture is what many of the world's best leaders are known for and has always being a primary catalyst for getting things done.

It is honestly disgusting that Council has dragged this out for as long as they have, and if for whatever reason this initiative should not get approved, it will absolutely go down as one of the greatest failures for the City in recent memory.

In closing, I really do hope that you can get behind this incredible opportunity that we have before us, or at the very least be one of the very first people to take responsibility when significant investment dollars begin to immediately flow out of the City if for whatever reason this initiative should not move forward.

Trusting you will see the bigger picture here and make the right decision.

This was sent as a letter to City Councillors on the fence about the LRT plan.

Tyler Pearson is managing partner and co-founder of Malleum Partners, a private equity fund based in Hamilton.


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By bobby2 (registered) | Posted April 26, 2017 at 07:32:01

Is LRT a Gold Nugget or Fool's Gold for Wards 1 to 4 property owners. This year, due to increased value assessments some Wards experienced substantial Property Tax increases. If LRT brings all the value of the area around LRT to sky high heights, it's Gold if you are planning to sell & well open your wallets if you are there long term. Yes, sometimes good things can have downsides? Funny, Councillors in Wards 1 to 4 don't talk about this?

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By Deleted User (anonymous) | Posted May 06, 2017 at 06:56:59

This is the "vision" for Hamilton that people point to when advocating for LRT:


LRT supports constantly point to "economic development" and "uplift" and "increased property values" as though they're goals to be worked towards. The sad irony is that these goals always benefit people who are already rich and the poor will be left further behind. If you reject the basic premise that these are goals to be worked towards then why should I accept the solution you're proposing to get us there?

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By Dylan (registered) | Posted May 06, 2017 at 08:00:24 in reply to Comment 121486

Home ownership in the lower city is around 75%. These owners all stand to benefit a lot from gentrification and most of these people are relatively poor, and they're certainly not rich. Check out the "neighbourhood" tab on MLS listings, it will give you ownership and income numbers. You are referring to the very impoverished which make up a pretty small segment of the population, and there's no reason to believe subsidizes housing cannot be built for them.

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By CharlesBall (registered) | Posted May 09, 2017 at 12:52:17

Great leaders are people you agree with.

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By CharlesBall (registered) | Posted July 11, 2017 at 11:24:40

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