Special Report: Light Rail

Letter: Dundas Needs Strong Leadership to Support Light Rail

As a community, we need our Councillor to have the vision and strength to set the course for a healthy and prosperous future. LRT is an essential step toward this.

By Debbie Chamberlain
Published April 24, 2017

I am writing as a concerned citizen regarding the upcoming vote on LRT. It is perplexing and highly disturbing to me that Dundas Councillor Arlene VanderBeek is not fully and openly applying her influence to ensure that the already Council-approved LRT moves forward as quickly as possible.

I have spoken to many people of all ages, within our Dundas community and beyond, regarding the LRT. There appear to be two groups.

The first group are those who unequivocally support LRT. They understand the benefits to the suburbs of lowering our current prohibitively high tax burden through intensification.

This makes our small community more affordable to young people, which is essential to keeping our community alive and healthy in the years ahead. This group clearly understands that, should we be so foolish as to forgo the investment of our provincial tax dollars into the long-term future of our community, our money will be irrevocably invested into the success of another community.

The second group are those who resist change because they are confused by the lack of vision, clarity, and cohesiveness from Council following a decisive vote in support of LRT. When faced with Council's mixed messages, propaganda, hidden personal agendas and wavering, people are immobilized and turn away from any action.

This is devastating for a community like ours. We have been offered the means to envision and embrace positive growth that will ensure a healthy community for our children and grandchildren.

Looking for Strong Leadership

Don't believe for a moment that the baby boomers in our community who have grown children and often grandchildren, whom they want to keep close, are not looking for the strong leadership that can successfully drive the evolution needed to ensure their loved ones choose to live happy, healthy, productive lives here in Dundas and Hamilton.

LRT will be the current Council's legacy. A failure to step up, bring people's provincial tax dollars back to this community and drive the LRT project to successful completion will devastate and demoralize the Hamilton community for the foreseeable future. It will ensure we look elsewhere for strong leadership in the next election.

A physically fixed LRT, unlike bus transit, drives desirable densification. We know this with certainty from other communities who have bravely forged ahead with LRT-based public transportation systems. It brings business development and keeps young skilled workers who are drawn to communities supporting environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

Singles, couples, young families, persons with disabilities, seniors, and, all others "temporarily-abled" like myself, increase their independence while significantly reducing costs when they can manage without a vehicle or with one family vehicle.

As a community, we need our Councillor to have the vision and strength to set the course for a healthy and prosperous future. LRT is an essential step toward this.

In your position, we count on Council to educate the community on how LRT creates an opportunity for improved public and active transportation so that people understand how they can leave their front door and access an efficient and effective transportation system that meets their needs and makes our environment sustainable.

I sincerely hope my Councillor is up to the task.

This article was sent as a letter to Dundas Councillor Arlene VanderBeek.

Debbie Chamberlain is a resident of Dundas.

4 Comments

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By rgelder@cogeco.ca (registered) - website | Posted April 24, 2017 at 11:45:15

Dundas says YES to LRT!!! Do you hear us, Councillor VanderBeek?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 24, 2017 at 14:56:22 in reply to Comment 121330

Maybe not:

My thanks to everyone who emailed or phoned me to share your thoughts and concerns about the LRT project. I received so many messages, my inbox filled up and stopped working.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2017-04-24 14:57:11

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By MikeBelmore (registered) | Posted April 24, 2017 at 14:36:56 in reply to Comment 121330

She will hear us now or hear us on the next municipal election day...

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