Just as new investment and trust is manifesting in Hamilton, some Councillors want to pull the rug out from under its own LRT plan, thinking that there will be no consequences.
By David Brace
Published April 06, 2017
Most of the very councillors who are now trying to undermine Hamilton's Light Rail Transit (LRT) plan were the same Councillors who started this project and voted for it continuously over their time in office. They created the vision and have also created the division.
I moved back to Hamilton 27 yrs ago. I began my cultural business here because I believed in the potential of this city. A cultural renaissance was under way. Galleries, artist co-ops, theatre, music and the rise of new restaurants, cafes and bars slowly took root.
New businesses began to move here. Tech, design and branding firms, film and animation companies and small independent retail liked what they saw and invested in Hamilton.
But an urban economy needs the support of the City to justify the long-term investment for real sustained growth. Infrastructure, transit, zoning and regulations can help us grow and provide housing and jobs for more people.
In recent years, I have watched with dismay as year after year, council after council has started five-year and ten-year strategic plans, only to shelve them after two or three years.
In the past two years, Council has repeatedly voted its support for the fully-funded LRT project, and people took it as a sign of dependability, of real city investment in our future growth.
And now, just as new investment and trust is manifesting in Hamilton, some Councillors want to pull the rug out, thinking that there will be no consequences.
The results of this dithering will be the divestment of future generations and the flight of new business to greener pastures just down the road - cities like Kitchener-Waterloo and Mississauga, which are going ahead with their own LRT investments.
Council sets the tone and agenda for the city, and they lack curiosity and ambition. My faith in good governance is being tested. Their failure to act for our future will see our efforts to invest in Hamilton wither on the vine. I am really questioning if my love for this City has been misplaced.
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