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Metrolinx to appear before Hamilton politicians next week regarding LRT

An artists rendering of Hamilton's LRT project. The federal and provincial governments have offered $3.4 billion to build the 14 kilometre line. Metrolinx

Provincial representatives will appear before city councillors next Wednesday to discuss Hamilton’s resuscitated LRT project.

Ward 6 Coun. Tom Jackson says councillors will be looking for answers to “lingering” questions following confirmation that the federal and provincial governments will invest $3.4 billion to build an LRT line from McMaster University to Centennial Parkway.

Jackson says the city’s role in the project is one question mark.

Read more: Feds, province confirm $1.7 billion each for Hamilton LRT

“If the LRT is approved by council going forward,” added Jackson during Wednesday’s meeting of Hamilton City Council, “will the LRT office then be reconstituted, how will it be reconstituted and who would pay for staffing to come in, or would it be entirely within the bailiwick of Metrolinx?”

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City Manager Janette Smith confirms that Phil Verster, the president and CEO of the province’s transportation agency, will be among those appearing virtually before the general issues committee on June 2.

The concept of the 14 kilometre LRT line dates back to 2007, when the city received a Metrolinx grant for an environmental assessment of the project.

Read more: Hamilton LRT a part of Ontario’s pitch for federal┬átransit funding

Ontario’s previous Liberal government committed $1 billion to the project in 2015, but it was cancelled as overbudget and unaffordable by the current government in December 2019.

The project was officially restarted earlier this month when the province said that it had increased its contribution to $1.7 billion after the federal government stepped up with a matching $1.7 billion contribution.

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