Light Rail

Mississauga Aggressively Pursuing LRT While Hamilton Bickers

By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 25, 2013

While Hamilton's leadership remains muddled and hesitant about light rail transit (LRT), Mississauga is aggressively pursuing its Hurontario LRT plan, a line that will cost twice Hamilton's:

[Mississauga Mayor Hazel] McCallion has made no secret of the pressure she's exerting to get Mississauga's estimated $1.5 billion LRT project along Hurontario St. at the top of the list under Metrolinx's second wave of funded projects, following Toronto's transit expansion.

What pressure is our Mayor exerting to get the B-line LRT at the top of Metrolinx's list?

Does Councillor Brad Clark really think Hamilton's wait-and-see strategy (with the hope that the Province ignores our Mayor) is superior to Mississauga's strategy?

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 Conrad664 (registered) | Posted April 25, 2013 at 15:26:30

Hi Ryan can you please tell me why our LRT is 800,000,000 and Missisaga is 1.5 million and the province is looking to make about 3 million in one year why Metrolinx get do both Hamilton and Missisaga at the same time

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted April 25, 2013 at 18:24:04 in reply to Comment 88190

Mainly because of length - it will run 23km from Port Credit to Brampton GO, vs. 13km for Hamilton's B-Line LRT.

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By Conrad664 (registered) | Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:46:16 in reply to Comment 88195

Thanks for the info , maybe they can expended it from Missisaga to stoney creek .. lol

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By Conrad664 (registered) | Posted April 25, 2013 at 15:27:30 in reply to Comment 88190

Oh i meant Missisaga will be 1.5 billion

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2013 at 04:19:06

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted April 26, 2013 at 18:41:50 in reply to Comment 88211

Maybe Mississauga should convert all their streets to 1-way like ours and solve their traffic problems.

Oh wait, they won't, because they aren't suicidal.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2013-04-26 18:42:13

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2013 at 13:11:21

Amid calls from councillors to take many of the proposed revenue-generating tools off the table, McCallion was trying to be the voice of reason.

“There’s going to be opposition to everything,” she said. “They have enough negativity with the mayor of Toronto being opposed to new revenues. My position is, it is completely premature for us to take a stand before we have all the facts.”

McCallion said Metrolinx should be given the chance to make its final proposal in the coming months, and taxpayers should be given a proper opportunity to weigh in on which tools are acceptable.

She did, however, make it clear that in her view, property tax increases and transit fare increases are off the table.

Council unanimously supported a staff report that left the other nine funding tools appearing on Metrolinx’s short list as potential options it will recommend pursuing.

The list also includes a regional sales tax, gas taxes, possible highway tolls or HOT (high-occupancy toll) lanes, higher development charges, a payroll tax, and unusual mechanisms such as “land value capture” and a kilometres-travelled tax.

McCallion told the Star she has a meeting scheduled in Mississauga with Premier Kathleen Wynne within the next couple of weeks.

“The appropriate question,” she said, “is to find out how all these projects are going to be funded.”

McCallion has made no secret of the pressure she’s exerting to get Mississauga’s estimated $1.5 billion LRT project along Hurontario St. at the top of the list under Metrolinx’s second wave of funded projects, following Toronto’s transit expansion.

“I don’t know what the (funding) formula is,” she said. “How will the money, wherever it comes from, how will it be distributed?”

Asked if she had spoken with Ford on the transit funding issue, McCallion responded: “No I haven’t. I’ve just made my position very clear publicly. We have a choice of doing nothing and letting the gridlock grow every day, or to do something and help pick up the tab for it.”

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2013 at 13:19:35

The City of Mississauga believes the light rail transit project planned to run from Port Credit to Brampton will be a top priority for Metrolinx when it comes to funding.

City manager Janice Baker has a hunch the LRT, projected to cost $1.6 billion, will be at the top of Metrolinx's list because the municipality is being encouraged by officials to keep moving forward on the plan and because it has the highest "business case" rating out of all projects included in Metrolinx's Big Move blueprint. The Big Move is a plan to spend $50 billion on infrastructure and transit improvements over the next 25 years.

"But nobody has gone so far to say, 'And you're number one when the money starts to flow,'" said Baker.

"But I do have to think that part of the reason we're being encouraged to keep moving forward … and get the project shovel ready is because if we can get this revenue stream established, however the Province chooses to make that happen, we will be at or near the top of the list. But that's not a commitment, that's just an assumption on my part."

Councillors received a report today on Metrolinx's short list of 11 possible funding options. The report said the municipality is opposed to two of the ideas — using the property tax and transit fare increases — to fund transit and transportation expansion.

As Baker noted, those two options would have a "direct, budgetary impact" on the City.

Ward 5 Councillor Bonnie Crombie pushed for City staff to come up with some of the Metrolinx tools they support. Yesterday, the City of Toronto deferred a report that endorsed a sales tax, gas tax, parking levy and development charges as that municipality's preferred options.

Mayor Hazel McCallion said it's too early and more information is required before Mississauga can come up with its own position. The mayor said many questions abound, like how the money is going to be distributed.

"It's completely premature to take any stance until we have all the facts," said McCallion.

Earlier this month, the Mississauga Board of Trade held a meeting with the business community about funding options. Sheldon Leiba, MBOT president and CEO, said the general consensus was one of support for the fuel and sales tax options and highway tolls while they didn't approve of increased property taxes, payroll taxes or development charges.

Both Crombie and Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito feel the City should work with MBOT to come up with a consensus position.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2013 at 13:27:51 in reply to Comment 88217

McCallion's strong, well-defined stance on this issue should not be mistaken for unanimity on council as to funding measures. Northern Mississauga councillors Crombie and Saito have broken ranks on proposed parking levies, for example.

Even so, they appear to be the same councilors championing private sector collaboration and consensus around preferred funding measures. McCallion herself seems less worried with council’s mindset and more concerned with Metrolinx matching Mississauga’s level of clarity and confidence.

FWIW, Mississauga's odds of consensus are potentially improved by having only 11 wards to serve a population greater than that of the Hamilton CMA, which is served by 29 representatives, excluding mayors.

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By blusterybob (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2013 at 02:54:54

Doesn't this pic sum it all up very nicely:

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By PoliticalEnnui (anonymous) | Posted May 02, 2013 at 19:24:13

We are addled with perhaps the most ineffective city council in the entire country. Developments are debated until they are dead, while money and time is wasted commissioning study-after-study. Decision making moves at a snail's pace while other municipalities surge ahead of Hamilton, often proposing the same ideas after Hamilton and passing and implementing them before. Bratina is absolutely visionless and insistent on pursuing 90's era policy initiatives. The citizenry is perhaps the most frustrating element of Hamilton politics. Voters continue to re-elect problematic councilors who frustrate the system and stifle progress. It begs one to question whether those who seek urban renewal are in the minority-- that is to say, we seem to keep voting for more of the same, while those who pursue progress (eg. Eisenberger) are immediately ousted when they are deemed to be overly ambitious. I have been hearing about LRT plans for years, and while initially excited at the prospect, I can't help bu feel ennui when the subject is breached. Why doesn't council just vote "No go" now, and save us all the pain of watching this end up in deadlock.

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2013 at 01:39:13 in reply to Comment 88348

In all fairness, once every 20 years or so things get shaken up. Just in the wrong direction.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted May 14, 2013 at 15:10:39

"While Toronto bickers, in Mississauga we have been busy working toward our LRT.... Going forward, what is most important to those who have entrusted us with public office and told us gridlock is their most pressing concern is breaking away from our parochial silos and our archaic mindset born of history. Mississauga evolved from the amalgam of small towns and at times we still see ourselves as just a bigger town when we should aspire to be a great small city.... All we need at this crucial time is the courage and conviction they had."

Ambitious city.

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