Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday April 7, 2018
Doug Ford ‘ploy’ has Councillors second-guessing LRT
Some city councillors are second-guessing their support for LRT following Conservative leader Doug Ford’s announcement Hamilton can spend the $1 billion on other infrastructure projects if it rejects light rail.
Lloyd Ferguson, heretofore a staunch LRT supporter, says Ford’s proposal is “very appealing” and will force him to rethink his position if the Conservatives form the government after the June 7 provincial election.
“The main reason why I supported LRT is I couldn’t turn down $1 billion,” said the Ancaster councillor. “Now if we get to keep that $1 billion and use it across the entire city, that’s a game changer.”
Ferguson says he knows Ford’s position is an “election ploy.” “But don’t you capitalize on those opportunities for the people we represent?”
Tom Jackson says he’ll also consider changing his vote if the Conservatives are elected.
The east Mountain councillor says he ultimately backed LRT because he didn’t want to throw the $1 billion away by turning the project down.
But Jackson says Ford’s proposal giving the city the option to spend the money on other transit and infrastructure projects dovetails with his own preference to spend it on the city’s transit fleet and upgrading roads, sidewalks and water mains.
“I wished all along I had the latitude on how to spend the money,” Jackson said. “If (PCs) are fortunate and lucky enough to win a majority government … this aligns with what my preference has been.”
If, however, the Tories fail to win or form a minority government unable to follow through on Ford’s offer, Jackson says he’ll continue to support LRT to hold on to the $1 billion.
Terry Whitehead, a reluctant light rail backer at best, says he’s always maintained he’d reweigh and measure his support for the project if circumstances change about how the $1 billion can be spent. (Continued: Hamilton Spectator)
…It has been a 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 8 years or so…
Not to mention these from 2010 and before: