Mayor critical of ‘skewed’ Hamilton LRT poll results
Hamilton’s mayor says there are “glaring holes” within a light rail transit survey that was commissioned by nine city councillors.
The opinion poll, of 3,324 Hamilton residents, found 48 per cent opposed to the light rail transit project, with 40 per cent in favour and 12 per cent undecided.
Fred Eisenberger argues that the results are “skewed” since almost 70 percent of the respondents were 55 or older, and only four per cent were between 18 and 34 years of age.
He insists that the millennial population are “very, very keen on this,” while the senior population “have a short-term view.”
The mayor also believes it is “unfair” to ask people their opinion on a project without giving them all of the information with which decisions should be made.
Eisenberger made his comments before he was joined by Waterloo Regional Chair Ken Seiling on a walking tour of businesses along Hamilton’s proposed LRT route on Tuesday morning.
At the same time, four Hamilton councillors, Ward 8’s Terry Whitehead, Ward 7’s Donna Skelly, Ward 9’s Maria Pearson and Ward 10’s Doug Conley were travelling the other direction, for a first-hand look at Kitchener-Waterloo’s new 19-kilometre LRT line.
Seiling notes that $1.8 billion worth of investment has already been counted around their 13 station stops.
The taxes created through that growth, along with fares, are expected to cover the $8.5 million annual operating cost of their light rail transit line.
The manoeuvring comes ahead of a critical meeting that is scheduled to start on Wednesday at Hamilton City Hall, at the end of which councillors are expected to vote on the project’s updated environmental assessment.
Approval of that document is needed to advance the controversial project’s timelines.
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