Premier Kathleen Wynne almost provided some clarity on Hamilton's rapid transit system situation on Monday, before promptly muddying the waters again.
During question period at Queen's Park, Wynne said, "If we don't work with Hamilton and build that LRT, and make sure we get that infrastructure in place Mr. Speaker, then the boom that's happening in Hamilton can't continue."
"I'm not going to stand by and let that happen."
While that was no doubt music to the ears of LRT advocates everywhere in the city, she rose a few moments later to clarify her statement on a point of order, to remove the "L" from the conversation once again.
"I referenced the Hamilton LRT when I was talking about projects," Wynne said. "Line 30 in the budget, Mr. Speaker. I should have said either the Huron main L.R.T. Or the Hamilton rapid transit, Mr. Speaker. Point of correction."
Which puts the city right back where it was on the rapid transit question.
NDP leader and Hamilton MPP Andrea Horwath reacted to the comments, and suggested they actually reflect uncertainty the government needs to address.
"Last time we had it for about two hours when the Premier promised it to the mayor and then dialed it back," she told reporters in a scrum after Question Period, referencing a recent meeting Mayor Fred Eisenberger and the Premier had.
"This is a serous issue for Hamilton and the Liberals need to make their commitment straightforward," and tell the city what it plans to help the city build, she said.
"It's shameful that the Premier seems to no know from one day or another what the plan is."
What kind of rapid?
The newest provincial budget mentions "rapid transit" for Hamilton, but the city is still largely in the dark as to what that would look like – light rail transit or bus rapid transit.
The provincial budget, presented by Finance Minister Charles Sousa, pledges money for "rapid transit" for Hamilton, which will be funded out of a $16-billion Moving Ontario Forward envelope for the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area.
But it didn't mention a specific dollar figure, or the type of rapid transit. And while Minister Steven Del Duca will come to Hamilton within the coming weeks to discuss transit for Hamilton, some say they've heard it before.
The city wants $1 billion to build a 13-kilometre LRT line from McMaster University to Eastgate Square. It also wants about $302 million for HSR improvements, including $200 million for a maintenance facility on the Mountain.
Other communities in line for LRT have commitments in hand. Kitchener-Waterloo is currently building a line. The province announced the Hurontario LRT line earlier this week connecting GO stations in Brampton and Mississauga.