(This blog entry has been updated.)
It's not too late to stop the transit fare increase.
In yesterday's vote, seven councillors - Sam Merulla, Russ Powers, Chad Collins, Terry Whitehead, Scott Duvall, Bernie Morelli and Tom Jackson - opposed the increase and the other nine supported it.
However, yesterday's vote was not binding. A second vote at the end of the budget deliberations will be final. That gives citizens who support transit a chance to convince at least two councillors to change their mind.
The two most likely candidates are Councillors Brian McHattie (Ward 1) and Bob Bratina (Ward 2). McHattie is a strong advocate for transit and only supported the increase because he believes it's a lesser harm than losing the commitment to give the National Child Benefit clawback monies back to families.
Bratina is also a strong transit advocate, and his constituents include a high proportion of transit riders.
Hamilton doesn't need to choose between offsetting the NCB clawback and maintaining affordable transit. By eliminating area rating, we can preserve both.
|Brian McHattieemail@example.com||(905) 546-2416|
|Bob Bratinafirstname.lastname@example.org||(905) 546-2711|
You can also find all the councillors' email addresses here.
Update: This post originally stated that seven councillors voted against the increase and eight voted for it. I neglected to include Mayor Eisenberger, who also voted for it, bringing the total to nine. Therefore, two councillors will have to change their votes to reverse the decision.
Also, I mistakenly wrote that the final vote will be tonight. It seems the final vote will actually be at the end of the budget deliberations.
RTH regrets these errors. -Ed.
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