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Bill Kelly: Sorry Mayor Fred, but the Hamilton LRT will be ‘the’ ballot issue

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who is running for re-election in October, mused that the proposed LRT probably won't be the key issue in the upcoming municipal election. Bill Kelly differs.
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who is running for re-election in October, mused that the proposed LRT probably won't be the key issue in the upcoming municipal election. Bill Kelly differs. Ken Mann/AM 900 CHML

When Mayor Fred Eisenberger registered to run for re-election this week, he mused that LRT probably won’t be the key issue in the upcoming municipal election.

I think the Mayor’s comment was more wishful thinking than factual.

READ MORE: Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger launches re-election bid

Yes, it’s true that the “official” position of City Council is in support of the LRT, but we also know that most of the councillors who gave the project a thumbs up, did so because they didn’t want to turn down a billion dollars from the Province, even if it was tied to a controversial LRT project.

But with a PC victory in the provincial election looking more and more likely, those skeptical Councilors will be rubbing their hands with glee in anticipation of Doug Ford handing over the billion dollars for Hamilton to spend as it wishes.

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READ MORE: Doug Ford promises to let the people of Hamilton decide fate of LRT

The strongest support for LRT is in the four downtown wards where the LRT would run, but we get the feeling that many, if not all, of the other councillors would abandon the project in a heartbeat if they knew they’d get the money anyway.

Those councillors already have their, “I’ve heard from the people, and I’m changing my vote” speeches written.

If Doug Ford becomes Ontario’s next premier, the LRT will become THE ballot box issue in Hamilton this October.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML.