Hamilton

We'll find out in the spring how much it cost to cancel Hamilton's LRT: Metrolinx

The province's regional transit agency says it is working to determine the final cost to cancel Hamilton's light rail project and will make the figures public this spring.

The Doug Ford government announced the cancellation amid a chaotic afternoon in December

In December, LRT supporters stood outside a meeting room where Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney was set to announce the province was pulling funding from the light-rail project. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

The province's regional transit agency says it is working to determine the final cost to cancel Hamilton's light rail project and will make the figures public this spring.

A Metrolinx spokeswoman says the agency is currently working to close out remaining project contracts and expects to finish the process in the coming months.

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government cancelled the transit project in December, saying costs had jumped from $1 billion to $5.5 billion.

The move has angered community members and opposition politicians who have demanded the province release details about the cost escalation and the price of scrapping the project.

Metrolinx has previously said it spent $186 million on planning and developing the line, including $80 million to purchase 60 properties.

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney defended the cancellation earlier this week, saying instead the province will commit $1 billion to other transit projects in the city. She announced the cancellation in December, killing it amid a chaotic afternoon that included a hastily cancelled news conference, city councillors facing down police and Transportation Mulroney leaving the city with a police escort. 

The province announced in January the makeup of a five person task force intended to decide how to spend the money.

Options include widening highways, bus rapid transit or even a revived LRT project. 

The task force will decide by the end of February. It will be chaired by Tony Valeri, a former Liberal MP, employed now as vice-president of corporate affairs at ArcelorMittal Dofasco. ​Other members include​​​​​​ Richard Brennan, a retired journalist, Anthony Primerano, director of government relations with the Labourers International Union of North America (LiUNA), Saiedeh Razavi, director of the McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics and Janette Smith, Hamilton's city manager. 

With files from CBC News

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