Mayor Bratina still refuses to accept that his job is to support Council's decision to aggressively pursue a B-line LRT from Eastgate to McMaster - a decision for which he also voted! - and not to keep finding reasons to argue against it.
By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 21, 2013
In a recent interview on The Hamiltonian, Mayor Bob Bratina implied that he thinks Council simply voted to pursue "increased bus service in the A line and B line corridors", and that he would require a further Council vote to "communicate" that construction of the B line LRT should begin once funding has been approved.
Here is the quote:
With regard to the implementation of the B-Line LRT, the approved Rapid Ready document contains the following direction on page 30 of the report under "Core Actions".
"Light rail transit and bus rapid transit are ultimate goals and their implementation will require regular bus service restructuring. In preparation, the objective will be to increase bus service levels in the A-line and B-line corridors to emulate rapid transit."
If Council wishes to put forward a motion stating that "the City of Hamilton requires that upon approval of the Metrolinx funding plan work begin immediately on the B-line LRT project" I will of course make Council's decision known to the Provincial Government.
I'm not sure what Bratina even means, but it is clear that he still doesn't think Council voted to pursue funding for the B-line LRT.
That's consistent with what Councillor Brian McHattie told the Hamilton Spectator this week:
McHattie said that during a private meeting with the mayor and several councillors last week, Bratina denied council had endorsed the east-west LRT B-Line. (That endorsement happened in February, when councillors approved Hamilton's pitch to Metrolinx for 100-per-cent funding of the $800-million project.)
"He didn't think council chose the B-Line. It appeared to be news to him," McHattie said. "I think it's only because he's being wilfully stupid, because he doesn't support that (LRT)."
Bratina's comment to The Hamiltonian similarly indicates that he still doesn't believe Council supports LRT under an acceptable funding arrangement.
McHattie is responding this Wednesday with a Council motion "to make it clear that our No. 1 priority is LRT on the B-Line."
However, the final paragraph of Bratina's comment suggests that even if Council does adopt yet another resolution in support of LRT, his "championing" would be limited to communicating this decision to the Province - presumably while also communicating at the same time that he thinks this is a bad idea.
All of this contradicts the statement Bratina made to RTH after Council voted unanimously to submit the City's Rapid Ready transit plan to the Province. In a February 28, 2013 email to RTH, Bratina confirmed:
Council has now provided direction with the expectation of 100 per cent of capital funding and that will be our position dealing with the government.
Asked specifically whether he would begin to "champion" LRT, Bratina responded, "Yes." But clearly that is not what he's doing.
Bratina still refuses to understand that his job is to support Council's decision to aggressively pursue a B-line LRT from Eastgate to McMaster - a decision for which he also voted! - and not to keep finding reasons to argue against it.
with files from Ryan McGreal
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