Light Rail

Council Supports Funded LRT, but Mayor Refuses to Advocate For Funding

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",, 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)

Nicholas Kevlahan was born and raised in Vancouver, and then spent eight years in England and France before returning to Canada in 1998. He has been a Hamiltonian since then, and is a strong believer in the potential of this city. Although he spends most of his time as a mathematician, he is also a passionate amateur urbanist and a fan of good design. You can often spot him strolling the streets of the downtown, shopping at the Market. Nicholas is the spokesperson for Hamilton Light Rail.


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By Kiely (registered) | Posted February 15, 2013 at 09:16:36

What, you think Bob represents you? Oh no no no...

Bob is more interested in advocating for PJ's casino than an LRT. It has been apparent for some time now that Bob is running interference for the provincial Liberals who 5 years ago did a lot of talking about a transportation vision but are now struggling to find ways to pay for it all.

Bob threw out the "D" word and got himself elected, despite having no authority to do what got him elected... proving to this non-native Hamiltonian that the majority of voters in this city are easily duped. Bob Bratina getting elected was an "Ah-ha" moment for me and my understanding of this city and what ails it. Sadly if the voting citizens of this city will fall for Bratina's shtick they'll fall for just about anything. More (and younger) people need to vote in this city. Maybe then we’ll get some politicians who do a better job of representing us and not the old-boys and their old-ways.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted February 19, 2013 at 10:16:11 in reply to Comment 86348

Lower City (Wards 1-5)
2006: 37,265 votes
2010: 41,484 votes (up 11.3%)

Mountain (Wards 6-8)
2006: 38,598 votes
2010: 42,326 votes (up 9.7%)

Suburbs (Wards 9-15)
2006: 48,881 votes
2010: 55,906 votes (up 14.4%)

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted February 21, 2013 at 20:12:58 in reply to Comment 86462

Better than bad still isn't good.

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