Comment 106254

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted November 17, 2014 at 13:22:39 in reply to Comment 106250

The 1600 number is the number of Hamilton residents who actually submitted comments to city staff, either directly, or at one of the many public information centres held throughout the city. The number who actually attended these presentations and meetings would have been quite a bit higher, probably several thousand based on my attendance at several PICs. Even more would have seen the posters on the buses and the rest of the media campaign.

Of course, one could say this is a small proportion of the total population of Hamilton, but it is incomparably more than the city has ever engaged on another issue in the past. And it was a large enough number, and the preference for LRT was so marked (over 80%), that it is a very clear result. The fact that the support was strong throughout the city even outside the Lower City seems to have been forgotten. And don't forget that a wide range of stakeholder groups, representing thousands more residents, also officially and publicly endorsed LRT (including the Chamber of Commerce, McMaster Students Union, Realtors Association, Homebuilders Association and many BIAs and neighbourhood associations)!

Unfortunately, almost four years has past since this massive public consultation and outreach effort was undertaken, and that time has been squandered since nothing was down to keep the momentum going (in fact the Mayor spent most of his four years spreading misinformation and fighting against LRT despite having won on a strongly pro-LRT platform). Even some councillors have forgotten why they were convinced to vote for LRT so many times.

So, Fred is probably right that we need to re-start the process to remind ourselves why those who took the time to get informed about LRT (including councillors and many residents and stakeholder groups) support it. Once the committee is appointed would be a good time for people to tell them AGAIN why LRT is such a good idea for Hamilton, especially if 100% of the direct costs are going to be funded by the province.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-11-17 13:27:09

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