Saturday, April 28 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, April 28 2013

Mayor’s comment on LRT takes wrong turn

An erroneous comment by Mayor Bob Bratina about how the premier views the future of Hamilton transit left city politicians aghast Wednesday, prompting one to question whether Bratina was being “wilfully stupid.”

Bratina told The Spectator that Premier Kathleen Wynne made clear at a private event last weekend that Hamilton will have to choose between a light-rail transit line through the lower city and extending all-day GO service to Stoney Creek.

During the interview Wednesday at a transit forum in Toronto, Bratina also said Wynne’s senior staff confirmed Hamilton will have to make that choice.

“I think we would have to look at that,” Bratina told The Spectator. “GO trains stopping on Centennial Parkway could take 5,000 cars off the road.”

But it emerged later Wednesday that Bratina did not attend the event where Wynne spoke last Sunday — a $500-per-ticket fundraiser for Hamilton cabinet minister Ted McMeekin at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

McMeekin said the premier spoke about transit in general, but did not convey any expectation that Hamilton would have to make such a choice.

“I’m a little confused because he (Bratina) wasn’t at the fundraiser,” McMeekin said Wednesday, noting only a member of the mayor’s staff attended.

Bratina did not respond to The Spectator’s requests for a second interview to clarify his comments.
McMeekin said Wynne did not indicate any projects were in competition. (source; Hamilton Spectator)