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Hamilton politicians want LRT talks with transportation minister

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 Hamilton officials are looking to the provincial government to clarify Premier Kathleen Wynne’s announcement earlier this week about providing money to transportation projects, including the light-rail transit to Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

Councillors at their April 16 general issues committee meeting approved a motion introduced byStoney Creek councillor Brad Clark requesting Transportation Minister Glen Murray to appear before politicians to shed some light on the government’s funding announcement.

“The devil is in details,” said Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie. “(If there is money) we should ask for it.”

Wynne announced April 13 the province will provide $29 billion in funding for transportation projects over the next decade. There will be two dedicated funds, $15-billion to build public transit in the Toronto and Hamilton area, and $14-billion earmarked for transportation infrastructure projects including roads and bridges in the rest of the province.

The Liberals are proposed to re-direct $1.3 billion in gas taxes, using green bonds, and introducing new “revenue” tools to fund the project. The funding allocation is scheduled to be fully proposed in the Liberals budget May 1.

Hamiltonpoliticians are interested in tapping into the GTAH fund to help pay for the recommended light-rail transit system. The cost for the project has been estimated to be about $800 million.

Another motion, also approved by the committee, requested city staff discuss the LRT financials with Metrolinx staff.

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