Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday January 27, 2015
Premier Wynne guarantees Hamilton LRT funding: mayor
Ontario’s premier has committed to pay 100 per cent of capital costs for Hamilton’s LRT project no matter the final price tag.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger met with Premier Kathleen Wynne Monday to talk transit for the first time since his reelection.
But in a recorded media scrum after Monday’s meeting Eisenberger said he received “confirmation from the premier that they are still … committed to 100 per cent funding for LRT,” later adding “That’s a stronger commitment than I’ve heard from the province in a long time.”
The mayor said he also warned the premier the city is still planning to let a citizen panel study various rapid transit options. “She was comfortable with that,” he said, later adding the province “ultimately wants clarity from Hamilton as well.”
It’s still unclear where Hamilton sits in the queue for the next tranche of $15 billion in Big Move rapid transit funding for the greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
But Eisenberger noted the premier emphasized the pricey electrification of GO Train lines is a top priority and added the province is interested in Hamilton “integrating” its LRT planning with GO developments in the city.
He also stressed the next step should be to forge ahead with a citizens’ panel study on rapid transit – a process that could take most of the rest of the year – despite council’s formal request for $811 million for LRT. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)