Saturday, September 17, 2011

Information from Mayor's Chief of Staff

We have received the following information from Chief of Staff Peggy Chapman, of the Mayor's office. This information pertains to this interview (click here) with Ryan McGreal. 

It has come to our attention that Ryan McGreal has made claims, in your publication, about the Mayor not following council direction in regards to GO and LRT. This is factually incorrect. The City Manager's commitment to LRT was to bring a feasibility report to Council this year, which is the essence of his earlier directive. The Mayor is speaking unanimously for council - as you will see by the report below.

The following report was unanimously approved by Council on April 27, 2011.

At the February 14, 2011 General Issues Committee, the City Manager
highlighted 2010 accomplishments and set out objectives for 2011. The priority
actions identified within the Senior Management Team 2011 Work Plan reflect
these objectives, address priorities identified by members of Council and address
priorities identified through Council’s 2011 budget process. The actions in the
SMT 2011 Work Plan also align with the City’s Vision, Strategic Plan and
Corporate Priority Plan.

TO: Mayor and Members
General Issues Committee
COMMITTEE DATE: April 11, 2011
Senior Management Team (SMT) 2011 Work Plan (CM11005) (City Wide)
SUBMITTED BY: Chris Murray City Manager

(a) That Appendix A to Report CM11005 titled, “Senior Management Team
(SMT) 2011 Work Plan” be approved.
(b) That staff report back to Council for direction and resource approval where
elements of the SMT 2011 Work Plan require specialized expertise/
consulting, additional resources or costs beyond existing resources

T. McCabe Increase Economic Opportunities for the Downtown and Waterfront
1) Develop “one plan” of action for the downtown and a governance model (bringing together committees, planning tables and groups

working on aspects of downtown re-vitalization, including existing research and studies) to establish a priority set of actions that are

achievable over the next 4 years
2) Accelerate existing actions that revitalize the economic potential and assessment growth of the downtown and waterfront:

○ Aggressively pursue all-day GO Service to a station on James Street North
○ Finalize model for a Development Corporation
○ Finalize the West Harbour Master Recreational Plan
○ Strive to complete OMB negotiations/Hearings regarding the Setting Sail secondary plan
○ Conclude negotiations with the Port Authority for Transfer of Piers 7 and 8 to the City

G. Davis
3) Identify funding sources and complete implementation plan for Randle Reef

Note: The Hamiltonian remains committed to airing all sides of any issue. 


  1. Sorry, but this changes nothing. This report simply says "aggressively pursue all-day GO service..." It doesn't say aggressively pursue all day GO *instead of* LRT, which is the policy that Bratina and Murray have unilaterally decided to pursue without approval from the rest of council. Other members of council are clearly angry about their undemocratic move and are planning a motion to reaffirm council's committment to LRT. Ms. Chapman, an unelected member of Bratina's political staff, has alot of nerve presuming to speak for them.

  2. What Ms. Chapman is saying is correct, in the sense that she is speaking. But I don't think it means that everyone on council sees LRT the same way as the mayor. But Chapman bought some of my respect for being here and participating.


  3. LRT should be above ground like Vancouver -so it dosent take up our roadways and land owner frontage-less costly and what view!!... other than that.. this is a great plan that should be agressively pursued...

    Like a dragon boat race!!! Save Hamilton!!

  4. Anonymous wrote...
    There is absolutely no evidence that LRT advocates such as the members....

    The fact that you have put the community last on your list of priorities scares me..
    Business.. development,.. first???

  5. Back in 2008-09 Bob Bratina favoured bus rapid transit, like the "Bee-Line" presently servicing the east-west transportation corridor. He also favored a GO station on James Street North. Fast forward to today, nothing has changed. Metrolinx is broke and made $4 billion in cuts this year, and what little funds they do have are being poured into LRT lines in Toronto, while Hamilton gets dribs and drabs to increase the use of public transportation we already have, using discounted fares, presently subsidized at 70% of operating costs. Putting the railway back in the HSR will be no easy feat, and will cost someone almost a billion dollars to implement an east-west LRT line. In 2007 the Dalton McGuinty government promised two LRT lines for Hamilton, we should be demanding an answer on that question. Why nobody is asking, has me baffled. Why are Liberals Sophia and Ted McMeekin silent on the issue? Are the media afraid to ask? That's Hamilton, get used to it.

  6. Chapman makes a good point. Wait for the feasibility report. That's what ALL of council asked for. The LRT lobby has to slow down and listen.

  7. Anon said"Sorry, but this changes nothing. This report simply says "aggressively pursue all-day GO service..." It doesn't say aggressively pursue all day GO *instead of* LRT, which is the policy that Bratina and Murray have unilaterally decided to pursue without approval from the rest of council. "

    Sorry but it also means that aggressively pursuing Go and, at the same time, waiting for a feasability report on LRT so that you can decide how feasible it is (hence the name of the report), is possible and the right thing to do.

    Your argument fails,

  8. The Go Train should not just connect us below Barton Street at James St., N.,, it shoud connect us to Ivor Wynne and The Centre on Barton.

  9. @Anonymous,

    If my argument fails, why are members of council angrily speaking out against Bratina and Murray's de-prioritizing of LRT and insisting on a motion re-affirming council's directive to pursue LRT? Clearly our elected representatives do not share Ms. Chapman's belief that the Mayor is 'speaking unanimously' for them, and as an unelected staffer she has no business claiming that they do.

  10. It would be factually correct to say that making progress on one of three directives in the SMT 2011 Work Plan constitutes progress. It would also be factually correct to say that all-day GO servicehas been on GO's agenda since 2007's MoveOntario 2020 electrification initiative, and that modification of the Lakeshore West corridor will delay weekday all-day GO Train service to James North and Centennial stations until approximately 2016. And it would be factually accurate to say that this is an ask, and that nothing the city does can speed up the province`s construction schedule, just as it would be factually accurate to note that GO Transit is part of Metrolinx, the same body that is marshalling resourses for rapid transit initiates, and which has already invested in rolling stock for the HSR.

  11. And it would also be factually accurate to say that none of the above has anything to do with the de-prioritizing of LRT, the end of LRT planning, and the decimation of the Rapid Transit team - all strategic policy moves that were made without council's input, and against council's express support for the pursuit of LRT.


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