December 17th, 2019

Release the Hamilton LRT report: Horwath to Ford

Horwath wants to see apples-to-apples comparison with other projects

HAMILTON — The Doug Ford government is using sketchy, unbelievable, 30-year estimated costs as an excuse to cancel the much-needed Hamilton LRT, and Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, is demanding to see the full consultant’s report that Ford claims supports his cooked-up numbers.

“Once again, it looks like Doug Ford is making numbers up to justify his cuts,” said Horwath. “I’m calling on Mr. Ford to release the so-called consultant’s report, and release an apples-to-apples comparison with all other LRT projects.”

By including 30 years of estimated, likely overblown maintenance, operations and repair costs, Ford is claiming the Hamilton LRT will cost $5.5 billion for 14 kilometres. That’s way out of line with other upcoming LRT projects, including:

  • The 18-kilometre Hurontario LRT is estimated to cost $1.4 billion
  • The 11-kilometre Finch West LRT is estimated to cost $1.2 billion
  • The 18-kilometre ION LRT expansion to Cambridge is estimated to cost $1.4 billion

Actual bids for the Hamilton LRT are not due until March, 2020.

Horwath called the cancellation of the Hamilton LRT a betrayal. Both PC MPP Donna Skelly (Flamborough-Glanbrook) and Doug Ford repeatedly told voters the project would move ahead, but yesterday, Skelly threw Hamiltonians under the bus by proclaiming that the “city dodged a bullet” by having Ford cancel the project.

So far, $180 million in public money has been spent on pre-construction. An untold amount of private investment has also gone into developments counting on the LRT, which had been guaranteed more than 60 times by Hamilton City Council votes.