Elections

Council has voted dozens of times since 2008 to advance Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) project, including voting to submit the plan with a full funding request to the Province in 2013, and voting to accept full funding and implementation from the Province in 2015. Do you support completing the LRT plan? Why or why not?

Responses to the question: "Council has voted dozens of times since 2008 to advance Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) project, including voting to submit the plan with a full funding request to the Province in 2013, and voting to accept full funding and implementation from the Province in 2015. Do you support completing the LRT plan? Why or why not?"

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36 Candidate Responses (top)

Mayor
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Davis, Jim No I support LRT but I do not support the route it is taking. We see King St. can not support the LRT because it has to buy up property to make it fit and by doing so, money is being wasted and Metrolinx has lost interest.
Gomes, Carlos No I think I've written enough about the LRT already.

I am 1 million prevent against it. It doesn't work in Toronto why would we want it here.
Graydon, Edward HC N/A No response provided
Ryerson, Phil No If I become mayor the LRT will never be allowed in . Under me that is for sure
Tavares, Ricky N/A How much are you going to pay me ? $100 and I will communicate with you at your basic level. Otherwise you are useless to me and Hamilton.
Wozny, Mark No The LRT would be to the detriment of too many people. Unwanted congestion would take place due to our narrow streets, family businesses would be markedly interrupted and the exercise too anachronistic in that it is not seen in contemporary context. There is no workable growth plan.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi No If LRT is successful although I am personally oppose to it I will do my best as the elected representative of the city to encourage the provincial government to support full funding and make the project in the best interest of Hamiltonians
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes I fully support LRT, along with the 1200 construction jobs, 200 permanent jobs, and likely over $3 billion in property investment it will bring to the city. I am well aware that the majority of people in Ward 1 who oppose LRT are older than I am, but I continue to remind them that they are not going to be able to driver forever – at some point their doctor will not permit it. At that point they are going to want a safe, accessible, reliable transit system, and LRT provides that.
Anderson, Sharon Maybe Yes I support completing the LRT however, I have some clarifications and concerns with the current version of the plan which I think need to be addressed. In particular there are sections along King Street where there appear to be isolated blocks where two way traffic is proposed which when I interpret them on my own do not seem practical. I would also require a detailed communication, detour and access plan for the business owners and residents who will be impacted by the construction zone prior to the start of construction.
Cole, Sharon Yes I have for a number of years, been a strong advocate of integrated rapid transit solutions in Hamilton, including LRT. I had the opportunity a few years ago to witness LRT in action in western Canada and was thoroughly impressed with the impact this form of rapid transit had on the entire community. I witnessed the advantages of LRT connecting the city, altering transportation habits for the better and enhancing community growth and its ability to integrate with other rapid transit options. That prompted me on my return to engage in the debate, penning Op/Ed's in the Spec. and on social media, and engaging with the City, the Hamilton Street Railway and the Amalgamated Transit Union. I felt it was time to lend my voice to protecting current and future investments in Hamilton's integrated rapid transit solutions.
Eroglu, Ela Yes I support LRT. I believe LRT will provide accessible, affordable, reliable and comfortable means of public transportation that connects residents not only within the City but provides foundation for future developments. Providing a reliable, accessible and affordable public transportation is vital for our ward as well as for the City as a whole. By investing in our public services wisely we can make transportation, housing and access to arts and recreation affordable and accessible to everyone.
Geffros, Sophie Yes Hamilton needs Light Rail Transit, with a promised one billion dollars in provincial funding this is a well researched investment in mass transit we cannot afford to pass by. We need to increase our capacity for mass transit, and as a wheelchair user I am well aware that the HSR does not meet the needs of our city for accessible mass transit. Beyond this, I believe that if implemented correctly, LRT can be used to develop equity in our city through holistic investment in communities specifically in affordable housing infrastructure along the line.
Massie, Richard Yes I support the LRT plan because infrastructure and transit in Hamilton has been starved for years - if the province is funding the infrastructure replacement underground along the downtown corridor then that frees up City money for other necessary infrastructure projects on the mountain.
Narducci, Linda Yes We need improved ways to move around the city; faster, more efficient, less pollution. I do support the LRT along with the BLAST network to accommodate the growth and development not only within the city but also the mountain, Waterdown, Ancaster, airport. Currently, Hamilton has a precarious work rate of 60% which has a negative effect on lives, potential growth of a city and home affordability. LRT along with the BLAST network will not only support the cities transit needs but extend to combat this precarious work and affordable homes epidemic.
White, Harrison Yes It is time for Hamilton to complete the LRT. While I was not a big fan of how Hamilton conducted their process for obtaining LRT, nor am completely in agreement with Memorandum of Agreement that Hamilton signed, the LRT is necessary. The net benefits to the City of Hamilton are too important to ignore. Hamilton has roughly a 3.5-billion-dollar infrastructure deficit, the implementation of the LRT will help with that. There will be a net benefit of roughly 205 million dollars to Hamilton’s aging infrastructure. This is important to help Hamilton upgrade necessary infrastructure, such as the Longwood bridge, without worrying about increasing that deficit. This will allow Hamilton to refocus on other important infrastructure projects that the City needs. It will also allow the HSR to redirect a plethora of buses, as the routes will now revolve around the LRT. The LRT appears to be a benefit to everyone in the City of Hamilton, and should attract more business, development, youth, and professionals to the city. Hopefully Hamilton can expect just as much economic benefit as seen in the Waterloo region (~$2.1 billion).
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Daljeet, Suresh Venodh Yes Yes, we needed the LRT 10 years ago. It will bring business and development, infrastructure upgrades, create jobs and encourage people to move here.
Farr, Jason Yes Yes. The record shows my support on countless occasions in both debate and through many of the approx., 60 motions we have delivered over the last 8 years. I needn’t elaborate on all of the very sound reasons for this game-changing project, but hi-lite the four themes of City Building (approx. 1 billion of development is occurring in our downtown from LRT supportive investors), Environment (this is a much more environmentally friendly mode of transport), Infrastructure Upgrades (long due on much of this route, with LRT comes a major transformation both above and below ground, and complete streets, (King Street essentially becomes localized and undoubtably, much safer).
Kroetsch, Cameron Yes Yes, I support completing the plan. Those who have written for Raise the Hammer over the past 5 years have articulated excellent reasons to support LRT in great detail already so, in summary, I offer my high-level reasons for continuing to be #YesLRT.

Light Rail Transit will mean:

● New development and a new property tax base as a result of this development

● Extension of the life of existing infrastructure including sewers and watermains that are in desperate need of repair

● Environmental improvements through the reduction of car and truck traffic

● Funding from the provincial government which will alleviate our infrastructure deficit and allow us to catch up on other projects across the city

● Beginning our plan to implement the BLAST transit network
Smith, Nicole Yes It is vital for many, many reasons, especially environmental, job creation, and development investment.
Tennant, Mark Maybe I can honestly say that I have struggled with this issue since putting my name on the ballot on June 21st. I have studied both sides extensively and read your piece supporting the LRT. At the end of the day, what matters to me is that we get it right. Born and raised here, I am hesitant to say that I am all in but I do recognize that we must evolve as a city. I do have concerns with the privatization of the LRT. If history has taught us anything, "throw caution to the wind." I read the public Q and A and was surprised to find that there are many questions unanswered. This concerns me from a business management perspective. I support the LRT if it means that we answer all questions, unite both sides, and consider the construction in stages over time. There are so many unknown variables. You mentioned in your article about area rating, "a house divided". It feels like that with the LRT plan. "Can we unite and get it right". Sounds like a great slogan to me!
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Farr, Laura Yes I do support completing the LRT plan. As I’ve said elsewhere - the only legal agreement we have from the Province is that the money is for the City’s LRT plan. We have a verbal suggestion from the Premier that we can spend it as we like, but nothing signed, nothing legal. It worries me that we are going to repeat history as we did in 1980. Council turned down what became the Vancouver SkyTrain. (https://raisethehammer.org/article/3021/a_legacy_of_missed_opportunity:_the_hamilton_rapid_transit_plans_that_could_have_been)
Smith, Dan Yes I support completing the LRT. The expected development along the LRT corridor would increase our tax base. As well, many properties along the route have already been expropriated and unless put to use soon will become nests of urban decay.
Sprague, Kristeen Maybe The LRT is a frustrating subject. We should be using Hamilton-made Steel to make the tracks. We should have ATU 107 members operating the system. The difficulty with the LRT as it is currently proposed is that it's a public-private partnership. We need to make sure that the motivations behind the LRT are for the public good and the continued growth of our City without pressure from outside organizations that are more interested in profit than the people of Hamilton. So my support is not categorical.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Merulla, Sam Yes Yes, and it is well documented
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Maldonado, Juanita No I support fully funding the transit system. I do not see the benefit of rails in the ground. There are so many other innovative, energy efficient progressive ways to move people across the City – on the hill and down below.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jackson, Tom Maybe LRT Completion…Not Necessarily. My preference has always been if given the “choice” I would prefer the $1B. be spent on upgrading our existing infrastructure and expanding our HSR and DARTS services AND allocating any additional $$ towards projects that would provide “Community Benefits” such as the future expansion of the Sackville Hill Seniors Centre. However, at the April 26/17 City Council meeting I supported the EA process continuing with a written submission I read into the record, with the proviso that I “reserved the right to withdraw my support” IF circumstances changed!! The 2007 RRR document always spoke of “building a case for a future LRT” by “increasing ridership on Conventional Transit first”!! Somehow we veered off of that prudently staged plan. However, with the insistence by the now former Provincial Liberal Government that the funding MUST be used for the LRT, I did not wish to lose that huge amount of largess for our City….hence my vote on April 26/17. The “O and M” is also disconcerting to me at a potential annual increase of potentially 1.5% in perpetuity. I also am not concerned about the approximate $100m. spent up to now. I was impressed with President Eric Tuck of ATU quoted as saying in an edition of The Bay Observer this Summer (I’m paraphrasing), that the approx. $100m. spent on a combination of property purchases and conceptual designs could be used for an alternative mode of transportation. The BLAST network ideally should be placed as the priority.
Taylor, Timothy Yes I reserve the right to change my mind on this issue as more information (Construction tendering overruns, environmental impact reports, etc.) become available.

I currently support the LRT project. I think current council has been pretty clear, while not unanimously supporting LRT, they are generally in support. There have been enough votes in favour, enough times. Now, as with my own opinion, other councillors may change their minds as information becomes available during the process. One thing we have to be cautious of, is this doesn't become a project like the Tim Horton's Stadium, where a lot of great options for the city were presented and (at least in my opinion) the lesser of were chosen because of politicking instead of what was actually best for the city.

I feel Hamilton is at a turning point. We tote ourselves as the "Ambitious" city. If we are to remain the world class city we were, we need a world class transit system (and some other stuff). Does the LRT project relieve all of the issues with our transit system? Certainly not, but it helps. It is the first step down a long and... ambitious... road. It is also an important sign to the province and the country that we are serious about remaining an important city in the development of Canada. If we turn down $1bn in infrastructure(+) spending, without a VERY good reason and clear unanimous decision, we will be sending the sign that we aren't ready to move into the future together. It will be a long cold day before the province ever offers something like this again if we don't go forward now. Instead of becoming an ambitious light for the future, we will be come a rusty relic of the past.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Kazubek, Joseph Maybe The LRT does not actually benefit residents from ward 7, unless you live on the line, you will not drive your car down to somewhere on the line, pay to park your car, then take the transit service to only need to catch a bus to continue you trip, when it's faster just to drive to the destination.

I believe that we need to reevaluate the line and the cost, we need to invest more into the current system, enhance services among the mountain to offer better access to all of Hamilton.

I do support the LRT, but I support HSR first and formore I believe if we are going to spend a billion dollars, it needs to benefit all of Hamilton residents.
MacIntyre, Dan Yes Yes. It replaces aging infrastructure. It alleviates congestion on our roads. It provides economic and social uplift to tens of thousands of Hamiltonians. It’s the right thing to do. We should be fighting for our next $1B not fighting the first.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes I am on record supporting LRT on two conditions. One, if it is fully funded by the Province, and two, if it is supported by consistent, convenient and timely transit service connections from all points of the City. It is important to recognize that there is a cost to sustaining such a service; however, we need to be courageous and forward-thinking as we move into a greater vision for an inclusive Hamilton.
Pauls, Esther Maybe What is the cost going to be for residential and businesses on Hamilton mountain and what service are they going to receive for it. These questions need to be answered. We need the most effective LRT project possible. I am not sure if the need is great for people to travel from Eastgate to McMaster.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Scime, John Yes Yes. Each time I weigh the pros and cons of the project (and there are) I continue to come back to “We don’t know how to be a big city. We are afraid to grow up”. The LRT is the right choice for various reasons, and to draw it back to Ward 12 it is fundamentally about density and slowing urban development. Implementing the LRT solution we will create density in an area that can manage density and provide affordable housing for those who the LRT will attract. We will not need to plow through agricultural land to gain residential tax dollars that this city desperately needs. This first phase of the project is vital to the ALine. I have been a supporter of the ALine from the beginning. It’s a great opportunity to provide very quick service from the GO to the Airport (another vital component to our growth) and have commuters utilize this service instead of sitting on the 403, LINC, or Red Hill. As I stated, Ancaster has the Meadowlands retail complex (TLine) and Duff’s Corner Retail complex and Ancaster Business Park which would be the SLINE. The completion of these lines would drive business to each part of the city.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gelder, Rich Yes I strongly and unconditionally support the LRT plan in Hamilton and am proud to be the only candidate in Ward 13 that does. I believe that, in addition to being a transformative and environmentally sound transit initiative within the BLAST network as envisioned by Rapid Ready, it presents Hamilton with a generational opportunity to attract development and investment that will grow our tax base. In addition, it creates incentive for dense,high storey development, the likes of which is appropriate in the LRT corridor AND not in other parts of the city, like Dundas.
Mitchell, Pamela N/A Declined to answer
Ward 14
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Iszkula, Robert Yes Yes, I can't wait to "Ride the Tiger"! LRT will ultimately be a beneficial piece of infrastructure all Hamiltonians can be proud of. It will not only move more people for less money over its lifespan, but it will move us up on the world stage and attract more residents and jobs to the city. We will also leverage the provincial investment to complete some much needed infrastructure improvements below the pavement that we would otherwise have to pay for from our own property taxes. LRT is a win for all of us and worth our support.
Whitehead, Terry Maybe I think LRT is premature however I was able to leverage a vote to improve on the plan to end the line at the Queenston traffic circle and had it extended to Eastgate ( original plan) which provides a direct north south link to the mountain. This improves the viability of the line and mitigates the financial risk to the tax payers of this community.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total
Yes2055.6%
No616.7%
Maybe719.4%

67 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Mayor
Eisenberger, Fred
Geissler, Henry
May, Todd
Pattison, Michael
Rusich, George
Schmid-Jones, Ute
Sgro, Vito
Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.
Miklos, Lyla
Wilson, Maureen
Ward 02
Chiarelli, Diane
Unsworth, James
Vail, John
Ward 03
Balta, Milena
Beck, Keith
Bureau, Alain
Denault, Steven Paul
Kavanaugh, Brendan
Kuruc, Ned
Lemma, Tony
Nann, Nrinder
Rowe, Stephen
Salonen, Amanda
Ward 04
Douglas, Rod
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Klazinga, Stewart
Ward 06
Young, Brad
Ward 07
Benson, Steve
Clarke, Steve
Clowater, Kristopher
Dirani, Adam
Grice-Uggenti, Karen
McColl, Jim
Schneider, Roland
Ward 08
Adams, Eve
Climie, Christopher
Danko, John-Paul
Ruddick, Steve
Simpson, Anthony
Wicken, Colleen
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Conley, Doug
Ford, David
Lanza, Peter
Multani, Lakhwinder Singh
Ward 10
Beattie, Jeff
Milojevic, Louie
Pearson, Maria
Thompson, Ian
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Shewayhat, Waleed
Ward 12
Bell, Mike
Ferguson, Lloyd
Marley, Kevin
Reis, Miranda
Ward 13
Bonomo, Gaspare
Gray, Kevin
Mykytyshyn, John
Roberts, John
Vanderbeek, Arlene
Ward 14
French-Sanges, Roslyn
Samuel, Vincent
Wilson, Bryan
Ward 15
McKechnie, Susan
Partridge, Judi