Ford government to cancel Hamilton LRT project

Dec 16 2019, 12:58 pm

The Ontario government is looking to cancel the Hamilton LRT project.

On Monday, Ford’s Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and MPP Donna Skelly announced that the province will try to cancel the transit project, blaming its expensive price tag.

According to the NDP, this comes before a winning bid to design, build, and operate the LRT has even been chosen.

Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath, along with several Hamilton MPPs, said they are going “to fight like hell to save the Hamilton LRT, now that Premier Doug Ford has made up an excuse to cancel the long-awaited transit project.”

“There is no doubt the Liberal government dragged its feet and failed to get the LRT construction moving before turning the project over to Mr. Ford,” said Horwath, who is the MPP for Hamilton Centre.

“But we’ve seen this time and time again over the last 18 months: Doug Ford makes stuff up to justify deep cuts. It’s a betrayal — especially after Mr. Ford and Conservative MPP Donna Skelly repeatedly told Hamiltonians that they’d build this LRT.”

Horwath added that Hamiltonians deserve quicker commutes and less congestion.

The NDP said that Hamilton city council voted over 60 times to move forward with the project, “and for Ford to override city council and Hamilton families is a disgusting way for Ford to wield power.”

The NDP said it believes the construction should go forward and that the province should fund half of the operating expenses.

Ontario Liberal leadership candidate, and former Transportation Minister, Steven Del Duca said that Ford has been trying to cancel the project from the beginning.

“From the first day he was elected, Doug Ford has been searching for a way to kill the Hamilton LRT. Now, he has achieved his mission at great cost,” said Del Duca in a statement.

“A real leader would have just been honest with the people of Hamilton from the get-go.”

He continued to say that “Ford said the deficit was billions higher than it actually was and then used that as an excuse to deliver deep cuts to autism services, education, environmental protection, and much more. Transportation is his latest target.”

Del Duca said the people of Hamilton and Ontario deserve better.

The Hamilton LRT was focused on improving access to transit and supporting the continued growth and revitalization of the city, according to the City of Hamilton.

It was listed as a priority project in Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan, and was said to be funded through a $1 billion commitment from the Province of Ontario.

It was set to be a 14-kilometre corridor that would include 17 stops.