By Adrian Duyzer
Published July 18, 2011
Bob Bratina has taken the reins of a city in transition.
Walk the streets of the downtown and you can feel the transformation that is under way. It's a transition that is largely driven by Hamilton's citizens. It's a transition that is on the cusp of something truly great - and to get there, it needs to be more than just Hamilton's citizens driving it forward. It needs to be Hamilton's leadership too.
Right now, the single biggest opportunity to transform Hamilton into a new kind of city is light rail transit. Right now, Mayor Bratina is trying to kill that project.
LRT is critically important to Hamilton's future. It enjoys an unusually broad base of support, counting among its boosters the Chamber of Commerce, the Home Builders Association, the Realtors Association, the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative, numerous developers and various neighbourhood associations.
To attempt to squash this project is nothing short of a catastrophe.
To attempt to halt this project by suspending it without any such directive from Council is nothing short of undemocratic.
Council supported LRT and Council directed staff to study it. Any decision to suspend work on the project must be made by Council. Hamiltonians have the most to gain from this project, and the most to lose if it fails to move forward. We need to be consulted, and the best way for that to happen is in an open Council session.
I know that Council has been working hard on its image and on maintaining harmony and a unified message. That can't be allowed to jeopardize this project. If ever there was a time for fractious disharmony in the interests of this great city, that time is now.
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