The news is out that longtime Harper cabinet minister Peter Mackay is about to make his exit from federal politics. There is no shortage of editorial cartoons. His appearance goes way back beyond the last decade…
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay – Wednesday May 27, 2015
Wynne promises $1-billion for Hamilton LRT, GO transit
Premier Kathleen Wynne got a sustained ovation when she announced up to $1 billion to build a light rail line from McMaster University to the Queenston traffic circle, with an eye to eventually reach Eastgate Square. But Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca earned the best response when he stopped to note: “Yeah, I said ‘L’. You heard me say ‘L.'”
The line will also send a spur to the new James Street GO Station and connect with the existing Hunter station via a “high order” pedestrian connection that will prioritize walking traffic.
While the funded line will end for now three stops short of the edge of Stoney Creek, east enders will see a new GO Train station built by 2019 at Centennial Parkway, Del Duca announced.
That’s also the year construction is slated to start on the LRT line, although procurement is scheduled to begin in 2017 – before the next election. Wynne joked “by the time all this is built, I won’t be in this job,” but later added responsible governments have to “think beyond the next election cycle” and make longterm investments.
“This is monumental for Hamilton,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who called light rail transit a “sensible, affordable transportation system that lifts our entire community.”
City council will eventually have to sign off on a master agreement with Metrolinx that will spell out everything from who operates the system to what costs will be covered by the city to how a long construction period will be phased.
Eisenberger acknowledged a years-long build – a prime concern for city councillors opposed to the project – “is going to be a challenge.”
“There will be disruptions … but over the long term, the result is going to beneficial to everybody,” he said. “The hard works actually starts now.”
The mayor doesn’t believe those challenges will scuttle the project, however, despite increasing opposition from some councillors.
“For those who would push back on a billion dollar investment in the city of Hamilton, I would be very surprised to have them do that,” he said. “The province is actually delivering what council has asked for.”
City manager Chris Murray said he will report back to council in several weeks to outline the negotiations needed for a master agreement. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
…Whether you like it, or not, get ready for the loooong conversation on making LRT and enhanced GO Transit a Billion dollar reality in this city. Here’s a gallery of transit cartoons from the past 5 years or so…
Not to mention these from 2010 and before:
Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday May 26, 2015
Wynne Government imposes back-to-work legislation on striking teachers
The Ontario government will be tabling back-to-work legislation today for striking secondary school teachers, but since New Democrats won’t be supporting it, students will be kept from class a few more days.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says her party won’t support the Liberals’ motion for unanimous consent to get it passed today, but the government could use its majority to pass it by Thursday.
That would mean more than 70,000 students in the Sudbury-area Rainbow District, Peel Region and Durham Region, who have been kept from class for up to five weeks, would return to school on Friday at the earliest.
The back-to-work legislation is being introduced after the Education Relations Commission ruled that strikes by high school teachers in three boards are putting students’ school years in jeopardy.
Education Minister Liz Sandals says she respects the collective bargaining process, but it’s important to get kids back to class to complete their school years.
While the striking secondary teachers in three boards are set to be legislated back to work, their central union said this weekend that talks with the provincial government have reached an impasse.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation plans to apply to the provincial labour ministry for conciliation — the teachers must first use the government third-party assistance to try to reach a contract before they can take provincewide strike action.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board had also been set to rule on whether the three local strikes were illegal.
This is the first round of negotiations under a new bargaining system the Liberal government introduced last year, separating the process into local and central talks. The school boards argued that the three local strikes were really on central issues such as class sizes. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)