August 30, 2018 11:55 am

Metrolinx pumps the brakes on Hamilton land purchases for LRT

Artist rendering of Hamilton's LRT project

Artist rendering of Hamilton's LRT project

City of Hamilton

A moratorium on discretionary spending in Ontario has put the brakes on any further land purchases for Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) for the time being.

The Doug Ford Government imposed a freeze on hiring and discretionary spending and that includes land purchases by Metrolinx for Hamilton’s LRT.

The provincial transit agency says any agreements already in the works will be honoured.

READ MORE: Hamilton chamber continues to prepare for LRT construction

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Flamboro Glanbrook Tory MPP Donna Skelly says this process is not directed at LRT.

She says her government “promised when elected to undertake an audit and there is a freeze on discretionary spending and freeze is not specific to LRT.”

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

Skelly says that the Ford Government remains committed to the $1 billion already earmarked for Hamilton, and adds that it will be up to voters in the Oct. 22 municipal election to send a message about LRT’s future.

“If the LRT is voted against, and the new council chooses to spend the money in another fashion, the properties already purchased for LRT will have to be sold. So, it doesn’t hurt that to just hit the pause button,” Skelly said.

Skelly sees LRT as being the number one election issue in the greater Hamilton area.

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