Campaign Briefing: LRT supporters mobilize to 'correct the record'
Also: term limits, growing the tax base and a telephone town hall
A group of light rail transit (LRT) supporters have launched a campaign to try to sway the vote on Oct. 22.
There's already a No LRT group, and several members are running. Now #yesLRT has launched a website and YouTube channel to rally people in the project's favour.
"We want to help correct the record," says group leader Karl Andrus.
"From every perspective, the economy, infrastructure, property taxes, transit and development, environment and road safety, LRT is the right choice."
The group wants the city to boost ridership via Hamilton's 10-year strategy. That aligns — not conflicts — with launching LRT in 2024-2025, Andrus said.
Mayoral incumbent Fred Eisenberger supports that too. Vito Sgro, likely his closest challenger, wants to cancel LRT and beef up express bus service along the BLAST network, a city-wide rapid transit plan.
Sgro's website says B-line LRT isn't the first stage of the BLAST network. Andrus says it clearly is — it's the B in BLAST.
"Remove it and transit in Hamilton is 'last', yet again."
"No LRT" members have mobilized too. At least three are running — Carol Lazich in Ward 1, Gaspare Bonomo in Ward 13 and Milena Balta in Ward 3.
From Lazich's platorm: "Implementation of the HSR BLAST system using environmentally friendly electric buses will service all Hamiltonians and provide connectivity to all wards."
Voting officially starts tomorrow via advance polls. Here's a list from the City of Hamilton website:
- Thursday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Telephone town hall
Sgro is holding an invite-only telephone town hall at 7 p.m. tonight. PC MPP Donna Skelly (Flamborough-Glanbrook) and Liberal MP Bob Bratina (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) will participate.
They'll give their party's stances on LRT, Sgro said.
Skelly says she's not there to take sides. She'll just reiterate the province's pledge — that the $1 billion can be used for LRT or other transit and infrastructure.
The previous provincial Liberal government committed that $1 billion in 2016 to build LRT. Ford said Hamilton could use it for LRT, or something else.
"I will wait to see what council decides and if they decide against the LRT, under a PC government, the funding will stay with Hamilton," he said.
Another mayoral candidate, Michael Pattison, took to Twitter.
I love debating the unknown, where promises get made by candidates that have no direction and backing. Until the Province shows us the parameters of any investment, we seem to be allowed to promise anything. Hey Hamilton; what colour Unicorn would you like?—@mpformayor
Ian Thompson, a candidate in Ward 10, says if he's elected, he'll press for city council term limits and online voting.
Thompson says he'll introduce "an unprecedented motion within the first 90 days." He'd like to see a two-term limit. "Public service was never intended to be a lifelong career."
He's running against long-time incumbent Maria Pearson, Jeff Beattie and Louie Milojevic.
Our recent election stories:
When: Saturday, Oct. 6 (meet and greet)
Where: Eastmount Community Centre, 115 East 26th St.
Who: Mountain Kidz Klub
More info: email@example.com. Turkey soup lunch for a $3 donation. Open to the community.
When: Monday, Oct. 8, 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: The Pearl Company, 16 Steven St.
Who: Crown Point, GALA, Keith and Stinson neighbourhood associations
Info: Because of space restrictions, anyone who wants to attend should get a free online ticket.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 9, doors open at 6 p.m., debate from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Dundas Town Hall auditorium, 60 Main St., Dundas
Who: Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Dundas division
When: Tuesday, Oct 9, 6:30 p.m.
Where: 754 Barton St. E.
Who: Afro Canadian Caribbean Association in partnership with the African Canadian Action Congress
When: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2 p.m.
Where: To be announced.
Who: McMaster University Students Union.
Fix our infrastructure. <a href="https://t.co/W8LGCHKG8d">https://t.co/W8LGCHKG8d</a>—@vitosgromayor
Brining industry to Hamilton is great but the backbone of any city is small business which Hamilton has stifling growth. Less than 1% of eager entrepreneurs we able to successfully start a business last year because of the "Red Tape" Many just give up. We need to do better!—@SteveBensonW7
I want to thank <a href="https://twitter.com/sduvall07?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sduvall07</a> for taking me around <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hamont?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hamont</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ward7?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ward7</a> prior to the campaign start, for giving me his take on the issues, and his willingness to do this for all the candidates without endorsing any. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/grateful?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#grateful</a> <a href="https://t.co/oe0QHDnoq8">pic.twitter.com/oe0QHDnoq8</a>—@geraldinemcm
I am honoured to receive the endorsement of <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryDiIanni?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LarryDiIanni</a> - former Mayor of Hamilton and retired high school principal. I am grateful for his support! Learn more: <a href="https://t.co/mRbPxDEpmu">https://t.co/mRbPxDEpmu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HamOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HamOnt</a> <a href="https://t.co/lvrUjgto4g">pic.twitter.com/lvrUjgto4g</a>—@Cam_Galindo
REMINDER: The Ward 6 Candidate Ride is TOMORROW at 6:30 PM. <br>This ride has been organized by a citizen in this Ward and is open for everyone to attend -- regardless of where you live. <br><br>See image and Facebook page for full details: <a href="https://t.co/M7RMwNaciR">https://t.co/M7RMwNaciR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/iBikeiVote?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#iBikeiVote</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HamOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HamOnt</a> <a href="https://t.co/He3zn26dCn">pic.twitter.com/He3zn26dCn</a>—@CycleHamilton
Thank you Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 for lunch and your passion, commitment and expertise promoting accessibility and connectivity!! Keep Transit Public, Keep Hamilton Working!!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hamiltonfoodie?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hamiltonfoodie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hamiltonpool?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hamiltonpool</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hamiltonedit?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hamiltonedit</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dundas?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dundas</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ainslie?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ainslie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Anca?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Anca</a>… <a href="https://t.co/ybewQMot0U">https://t.co/ybewQMot0U</a> <a href="https://t.co/aimaAiIjhH">pic.twitter.com/aimaAiIjhH</a>—@GeorgeRusich