Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina replied in an email to my statement to the Hamilton Light Rail initiative:
City Manager Chris Murray's directive to staff regarding completion of the mandated work means Council will soon be dealing with its contents. Commitments made prior to receipt and analysis of the staff report would be contradictory to the proscribed process and therefore irresponsible.
Shortly after, Councillor Brad Clark emailed this response to the Mayor:
You do make an excellent point! Likewise a commitment or even debate on the pending LRT staff report without a funding confirmation from McGuinty would be pointless. But then again, advising the government that the un-budgeted Go Transit expansion, which has yet to be approved by the legislature, is Hamilton's priority over Metrolinx's budgeted and legislature approved Big Move 2020 could also be seen "as outside the prescribed process and therefore irresponsible."
[By the way], at my town hall last night, every single person (20) agreed that we must confirm the funding commitment from 2007 before we proceed. "Let's not lose the money."
I also understand that [Progressive-Conservative leader Tim] Hudak does not support the LRT. Andrea [Horwath, NDP leader] has publicly agreed to LRT and has requested that McGuinty clarify his position. It is more than a little ironic that it was the McGuinty government that promised the funding in 2007 and now he is the only one that has refused to clarify his position on Hamilton's LRT funding.
If you have not yet already added your voice to the call for Council and the Province to commit to LRT, please do so.
Meanwhile, according to Spectator reporter Emma Reilly in two posts on twitter, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty would not recommit to keep the Liberals' 2007 campaign promise to build two LRT lines in Hamilton:
So the Ontario Premier says it's up to City Council to decide whether it is committed to LRT, while City Council says it can't commit to LRT without a funding commitment from the Province.
The people of Hamilton need to send a clear message to all of our leaders - municipal and provincial - that these games need to stop. They need to work together to bring LRT to completion instead of passing the buck back and forth.
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