Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The LRT Matrix

After a marathon meeting, the Mayor very wisely asked staff to develop a matrix that would assist council in making a decision with respect to LRT and its fate. The Mayor asked that the benefits of going forward are clearly laid out, as well as pros and cons. Clr. Whitehead asked that risks also be included.


  1. Red pill, or blue pill?

  2. those hsr jobs? gone.
    every tree on the route? gone
    fare revenue? gone
    parking revenue? gone....

    1. You make many assertions in your comment.

      I searched the web and couldnt find any citations or quotes regarding your following statements of fact:

      "those hsr jobs? gone.
      every tree on the route? gone
      fare revenue? gone
      parking revenue? gone...."

      Again, where are you getting this information that cant be found?

      Do you have any source or citation for what you claim are facts?

      Mike Stark

    2. Paul Johnson. Contact him directly, ask him to enlighten you, then come on back and demonstrate how anything I claimed was false.
      Look forward to hearing from you Mike.

    3. Thanks for the tip. Didnt need to contact Mr Johns about answers to the first three.

      Those answers I found at the City LRT website FAQs, the Metrolinx PDF the city makes available on its website, and The Spectator and the CBC.

      Your were wrong on all three. Go check yourself. Then get back to me.

      About number four, the parking revenue? To be determined. When i find that answer, I will let you know where to look.

      Mike Stark

  3. Just switch back to having local taxpayers cover the cost of transit modernization and roll out bus lanes on every main thoroughfare. Better that Hamilton have ownership of its own challenges.


  4. "Just switch back to having local taxpayers cover the cost of transit modernization and roll out bus lanes on every main thoroughfare"

    Go back to articles from The Hamiltonian regarding bus only lanes.

    Read the articles.

    Read the comments.

    Then google Hamilton City Council and HSR Funding.

    Add the words slashed, delayed, cut, reduced, eliminated.

    Then google Hamilton Transit Levies and HSR Area Rating.

    Then let us know why you have any faith in your your ideas through council.

    Allan Graham

  5. Ted McMeekin, has in my opinion threatened us Hamiltonians regarding the money spent to date as well as the future of the $1 billion in funding for LRT. The money spent is taxpayers money not the Kathleen's. It is something she and Ted have pushed through like eHealth, Orange, Green Energy Act etc.

    I am saddened by his tactics, we teach our children not to accept bullying.

    He needs to remember that there is only one taxpayer. The government he forms a key part of has a history of poor decisions and billions of dollars of wasted taxpayer dollars and debt.

    This is a great city and we need to make the best decision possible without fear of intimidation from the Province.

    Hamilton is a City who has provided and provides benefits through corporate and personal income tax to the betterment of the Province and I'd say the nation. We are proud of our City and our contribution to our Province and Country.

    Let's not forget that. Hamilton is on the cusp of a resurgence, yes we hit some bumps but they are not issues that many North American cities have experienced. If the current provincial government wants to turn their back on us if we don't choose to put in steel tracks than that is to their demise.

    Hamilton will persevere and we will move forward together.

    I, as a father of two young girls, who I want to have a great job and life, close to my wife and I in this City in the future; need to the best of my ability try to contribute to the current decision making "matrix" for them. (Sorry for the run on sentence).

    I really don't care about me but want the best for my children (grandchildren) and the children (grandchildren) of others.

    I can't accept Mr. McMeekin's tactics which I have to believe are representative of the current Provincial Government.

    We Hamiltonians need to make the best representative choice possible. One way or the other I will accept and support the outcome of the vote by City Council but I don't think it should be influenced by bullying tactics.


    I don't want to burden them with paying for the flavor of the day. Especially, if they ever look back to consider, what the heck were they thinking and see Mr. McMeekin's bullying tactics.


    1. Jimmy,

      Ted McMeekin did not create the funding process.

      The funding process was clear from the start.

      Many other government officlals have already clarified that Hamilton will loose this 1 billion if we reject LRT and that can start over and get in line and reply.

      Its provincial policy, not Ted McMeekin policy.

      That Hamilton loses its 1 billion dollars in transit funding and has to wait for the next round of funding is cannot be disputed. You can find many examples of the province telling us in veru clear language.

      Just ask Terry Whitehead and Lloyd Ferguson.


      Heres Terry Whitehead:

      "If Hamilton turns down LRT, it may have to reapply for the money, Whitehead said. But it will be there"

      The heres Lloyd Ferguson:

      "On Whitehead's assertion, Ferguson has two words: "Prove it."

      So stop trying to start some meme where "Hamilton could have had any transit system it wanted except for Ted Mcmeekin" Thers no factual basis for it and its easily refuted.

      James Taylor

  6. James Taylor, you really don't understand what I am saying and seem to be locked into your own echo chamber.

    If you believe that there is a policy out there that cannot be changed by those who created it then you are mistaken. There is no policy. The funding process has never been clear from the Province. It has changed over time.

    Remember, we are the ones who vote these people in at every level of government.

    Don't be fooled.


  7. "James Taylor, you really don't understand what I am saying and seem to be locked into your own echo chamber."

    I understand what your saying.

    However, what your saying has been proven incorrect.

    The ministry has made clear over and over that if Hamilton rejects this funding, it is free to re aply.

    "There is no policy. The funding process has never been clear from the Province."

    This is also incorrect. How the decisions are made what cities get what how its funded were all laid out in black and white years ago.

    All the regions and cities awarded funding in this round followed the same process. The money has already been allocated under this formula.

    "If you believe that there is a policy out there that cannot be changed by those who created it then you are mistaken."

    Your are more accurate here. It may be possible for the Premiers office to tear up all the contracts and agreements with all the other cities in line for funding.

    Its possible that the Premiers office could ignore all the rules and proccess its been working off for years.

    Then theres the city that followed the same rules every other city did. They have been told that if Hamilton or any other city rejects the funding allocated them, then their city gets that money for their already approved project.

    All this COULD happen.

    But why would it.

    For your scenario to happen, the Province would have to break its word, break contracts, pay penalties, anger another major city or region and all its voters and city government.

    And whats in it for the Premiers office to go through all that?

    Nothing but grief for the Premier from sunup to sundown to let Hamilton decide?

    Not going to happen Jimmy.

    James Taylor

  8. If i had to come up with a definition of politics, I would probably say

    The process of twisting every which way in a pretzel like way, in order to achieve:

    1) Remaining in power
    2) The public good

    and in that order.

    So James, and Jimmy, you are both right in some ways. I don't think any government wants to be perceived as not following its own rules, but Hamilton is a large city and no government would also want to ignore its people and re-allocate money assigned to them, simply because of some "rule" or policy. No government is that stupid.

    And sure, they will take some flack. Nothing that can't be solved by saying "It is important to this government that all Ontarians have their transit needs met, and we will not abandon any city simply because it has changed its mind on what is best for their citizens."

    End of story. Politics 201

    If you do not have the wisdom or life experience to understand and accept this, then you are probably part of the arts and crafts kids.
    Sorce oakav

    1. I think you make a good point Mr. Sorce. What does the Oakav stand for? Is that your surname? Just wondering.

      from the sidelines

    2. but Hamilton is a large city and no government would also want to ignore its people and re-allocate money assigned to them, simply because of some "rule" or policy. No government is that stupid.

      Well here the thing.

      The Premier may be worried about losing votes here. But the scenario your describing is that Hamilton has rejected the 1 billion we asked for. Premier Wynne will say "Hey Hamilton, I was ready with the checkbook. You were the ones that werent ready" Any government would love to spin that scenario. And they would have great success doing so.

      What they dont want to do is enrage another city with a similar amount of seats at play in the upcoming election by being the party that broke their billion dollar finding province for wherever next. That is the last scenario thus government wants goin into the next election.

      Their election strategy will not be

      "Keep those disorganized ungrateful people in Hamilton happy at the cost of losing all the seats in London. Or Windsor"

      James Taylor

    3. I don't think so James. The province knows they can't play the shell game with voters. It doesn't work. Some of us are a little brighter than that. Just like noone was fooled with the LRT or nothing threat, neither will they be fooled by the shell game, too bad so sad..too late - game. You really shouldn't assume we are children.

      Thanks God for Steeltown's small but great contribution - the real Hamiltonians vs. the arts and crafts crowd. You see, I'm a real Hamiltonian and I have a nose for BS. You may fall for the spin you presented but us real Hamiltonians won't.

      P.S. I really liked the Fire and Rain song

  9. Hi Sorce, glad you understand what I am simply trying to say. Other then Ted being adamant it is LRT or nothing, his boss Kathleen has never said that. In fact she has left the door cracked open.

    Thanks Sorce, you definitely have a firm grip on Politics in this day and age.


  10. "The funding process has never been clear from the Province."

    Beg to differ.

    Metrolinx has evaluated and prioritized investments under an established Project Prioritization Framework, which is described here:

    Even if you invest tremendous significance in Wynne’s off-the-cuff comments (which, it need hardly be pointed out, carry no legal weight), Hamilton would still have to reapply for funding. The $1B may be on hold but the City would still be obligated to put forward a well-researched case that meets with the province's approval. It probably means another two councils consumed with transit debate before we'll even be able to submit our proposal.

    Consider: In the Liberal stronghold of Peel Region, a former Liberal Caucus Chair and prominent Cabinet Minister under two Liberal governments serves as Mayor of Brampton. Mayor Jeffrey is presiding over the City of Brampton's bid to get a realigned LRT approved, after rejecting the final 2km of the Hurontario LRT line in October 2015. Yet despite a superabundance of partisan connections, it will take that municipality until 2020 just to finish the Environmental Assessments on the proposed route and possibly 2024 to complete the planning process.


    Sigma Cub

  11. Dust off your 2014 Ontario Budget, if you will:

    Moving Ontario Forward
    Dedicated funds for public transit and transportation infrastructure would be supported by:
    * Dedicating proceeds from 7.5 cents of the existing provincial gasoline tax to public transit and transportation infrastructure priorities, starting in 2014–15. This would be over and above the existing gas tax funding provided to municipalities, with no increase to the tax rate from its current level.
    * Dedicating proceeds from the following proposed targeted revenue measures to public transit, transportation infrastructure and other priority projects:
    * Restricting large corporations from claiming the small business deduction;
    * Restricting the fuel tax exemption for road-building machines; and
    * Phasing in an increase of four cents per litre to the tax rate on aviation fuel over four years.
    * Repurposing revenues from the existing HST charged on the current provincial taxes on gasoline and road diesel across the province towards public transit, transportation infrastructure and other key infrastructure priorities.

    The dedicated funds would also be supplemented by:
    * Leveraging provincial borrowing, when needed, and including proceeds from green bonds to help finance transit and other environmentally friendly infrastructure projects across the province.
    * Allocating net revenue gains from certain asset sales through the proposed Trillium Trust, a special fund to be dedicated to Ontario’s key infrastructure.
    * Working with the federal government to secure federal funding through the Building Canada Plan for key transportation-related projects throughout the province.
    * Dedicating net revenue gains from high-occupancy toll lanes when they become available.

    Proceeds from the dedicated fund for the GTHA would be invested exclusively in public transit priorities that address congestion and improve mobility throughout the region…and for other potential projects that support economic development and improve mobility…The Province will work with Metrolinx and municipalities on how best to prioritize transit investments through the use of rigorous business-case analyses. These analyses will help prioritize Next Wave projects that could be accommodated within the Province’s dedicated fund for the GTHA and provide the best value for Ontarians.

    If you have a nose for BS, you would know that councillors who suggest that Hamilton would be able to shirk or skirt the years of study, consultation and analysis that accompanies a billion-dollar funding bid — or that any government would dish out even a fraction of that sum, strings-free — are either ignorant or assuming that their constituents are. And what exactly does it say about those taxpayer advocates that they would champion corner-cutting, backroom deals and end-runs around transparency, due diligence and strong accountability mechanisms?

    Sigma Cub

  12. April 2015
    The province is willing to put up the full cost of building a light rail line in Mississauga and Brampton, The Globe and Mail has learned, a commitment that would appear to push far into the future any chance of a relief subway line in downtown Toronto… If Queen’s Park’s ends up covering the bulk of the cost, it will mean that most of the roughly $16-billion in new provincial transit spending promised over 10 years – the biggest expansion in decades – will be outside Toronto. After a GO rail investment announced Friday and this LRT, there could be little left in the transit funding pot. The provincial willingness to carry the full cost of this project is in line with light rail pledges made by Queen’s Park in years past. But it runs counter to the more recent practice of paying only a third of the capital cost, and expecting the federal and municipal governments to pick up the rest. This sort of cost-sharing is the funding model for the Scarborough subway extension and for Toronto Mayor John Tory’s SmartTrack transit plan.‎ 

    October 2015:
    “It was a route that I asked [for] … to see if we could look at alternate routes,” said Councillor Michael Palleschi. “There’s an opportunity here to look at alternate routes. I’m all for that.”

    It’s a high-stakes gamble. The province had given Brampton until the end of this month to make a decision, all the while making clear that the pledged funding was for their preferred route only. Planning and approvals for a new transit line would be expected to take at least five years. And the money that had been coming Brampton’s way will no longer be available.

    “If council chooses to re-start a process, to look at other alternatives, then the funding that was set aside for the project would return to the Moving Ontario Fund, and it would be available for decision making by the province in the future on other priorities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area,” Mr. McCuaig explained.

    November 2015:

    Brampton can't count on hanging on to the money that the province had allocated as its share of the Hurontario-Main LRT, says Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca.

    "It is disappointing," he told reporters at a conference on Tuesday of that city's decision not to accept the province's offer of an LRT that would run down Main St. to the Brampton GO station.

    The money will be reinvested in transportation infrastructure, said Del Duca. But where it goes depends on an analysis of priority transit projects by provincial transportation agency Metrolinx.

    "We will proceed with the plan to build the LRT from the Port Credit GO station to Steeles and the balance of the funding in question will flow back into the (province's) Moving Ontario Forward plan to be invested in priority transit projects in the region, which in theory could be a project or more than one project in Brampton but is not necessarily going to be Brampton," he said. "I can't say at this point it will be in the 905, the 416, in Toronto, in York Region, in Durham, in Brampton because we'll continue to do our work, our analysis."

    Sigma Cub

  13. Again, Brampton holds a straight flush:

    “Both federally and provincially, Brampton seemed like “Liberal party headquarters” in the past two elections, Bowman said, adding that it’s time to leverage the huge support Brampton has provided to both higher level governments. All five of Brampton’s federal ridings went Liberal in this month’s federal election, after Conservatives swept the city in 2011.”

    Hamilton, meanwhile, has no chips to cash in. When the rapid transit promise was made 10 years ago, every riding in the city was Liberal-held, only the second time in the last 50 years that a path has managed to do so (the other being the Rae NDP). Now only riding is red, and it’s the most transit-hostile riding in the city. Committing funding to the riding-rich GTA (which will expand by 11 ridings in the 2018 election) is the most politically astute course of action. Thinking that Hamilton has some sort of unique leverage in this situation strikes me as wishful rather than realistic.

    Sigma Cub

  14. Thanks Sigma Cub

    Wow that was a lot of work you did to help those with holes in their knowledge of the subject, since there seemed to be some serious confusion for some.

    Im glad you took the time to help educate me and the others.

    James Taylor

    1. good of you to educate JT, perhaps a private discussion in the corner next time?

    2. Was expecting a TL/DR. Thank you for the more generous response.

      My intent was not to "educate" or to lecture, just to point out that the official line has not been as fuzzy as it sometimes appears. Apologies if I quoted liberally (no pun intended).

      Sigma Cub


Your comments are welcome. Please abide by the blog's policy on posting. This blog facilitates discussion from all sides of issues. Opposite viewpoints, spirited discussion and even pointed comments are welcome, provided they are respectful. Name calling is not allowed and any posts that violate the policy, will simply not be authorized to appear. This blog also reserves the right to exclude comments that are off topic or are otherwise unprofessional. This blog does not assume any liability whatsoever for comments posted. People posting comments or providing information on interviews, do so at their own risk.

Comments posted on this blog, may be used as excerpts in whole or in part, in other media sources .
This blog believes in freedom of speech and operates in the context of a democratic society, which many have fought and died for.

Views expressed by commentators or in articles that appear here, cannot be assumed to be espoused by The Hamiltonian staff or its publisher.