Bill Kelly: Province washing its hands of LRT, and that’s bad news for Hamilton city council

Artist rendering of proposed Hamilton LRT trains running along King Street West. City of Hamilton

The province has reacted to the latest attempt by Hamilton LRT proponents and it’s not good news for LRT supporters, or even Hamilton city council, for that matter.

First of all, the province is standing by its $5.5-billion price tag for the project, notwithstanding the fact that a LiUNA/Fengate analysis pegged the cost at about half of the province’s calculation.

On Wednesday, we talked with Joe Mancinelli from LiUNA, who spoke of private sector involvement and federal money tossed into the pot to move the project along, but it may be a moot point because the province’s response seems to indicate that it is washing its hands of the matter, and that’s bad news for Hamilton city council.

Read more: LiUNA pitches public and private plan to revive cancelled Hamilton LRT

It’s become more and more obvious that the province will supply Hamilton with a billion dollars for transit and also pages and pages of data about LRT and bus rapid transit, and then tell council that it’s their job to make the final decision.

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And for those councillors who are currently feeling the heat about LRT, well, get ready to be tossed into the fire of public opinion as both sides vigorously lobby council.

Read more: Questions raised about actual cost of Hamilton LRT following the release of redacted report

At some point, there will be a standing recorded vote about the future of public transit in Hamilton.

Which councillors are ready to publicly give a final thumbs up or thumbs down on LRT and face the consequences of their vote?

We may soon find out.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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