Eisenberger says LRT will move forward

News Oct 28, 2018 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

It’s “full-speed ahead” to build the $1-billion light-rail transit project, says Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

“We have a strong mandate from the people of Hamilton,” said Eisenberger three days after he captured 54 per cent of the vote in the Oct. 22 municipal election over anti-LRT candidate Vito Sgro’s 38 per cent.

“It speaks to the great work we have been doing the past four years and a good vision going forward. I think people saw the merits of that.”

Eisenberger said LRT will be among the top priorities for the new council, which is scheduled to be installed in the Dec. 3 inaugural meeting.

“We also have a mandate to move on LRT as we have been and get this up and running,” said Eisenberger. “As staff said, it’s full-speed ahead as far as they are concerned.”

During the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce City Manager’s Breakfast event that attracted a sold-out crowd of more than 350 people at the Sheraton Hamilton on Oct. 25, planning general manager Jason Thorne said despite the political talk about LRT, for staff it has been “business as usual."

“We haven’t stopped working on it,” said Thorne.

He said there are three consortiums that have been shortlisted to bid on the LRT project. A decision will be made next spring which company will be awarded the contract. Thorne said once the consortium is selected there will be “several months” of negotiations. A closing date for a final contract with the company should be completed by the fall of 2019, with construction expected to begin either late 2019 or early 2020, said Thorne.

Eisenberger said the new council needs to vote on LRT to show the community and the province that Hamilton remains steadfast in its resolve to build the project.

“At some point we need a strong commitment from council that this is now done (with the discussion) and let’s move on,” he said.

But one new councillor may have a problem with supporting the mayor on LRT. Ward 7 Coun.-elect Esther Pauls, a critic of LRT, said voters told her they don’t want the project.

“I owe it to my constituents to say let me look at it first,” she said. “I will stand up for Ward 7. That’s why I was elected. I couldn’t let them down now. So as it stands now it’s a no (against LRT).”

She said if the majority of her constituents supported Eisenberger in the election then she will side with the mayor on the project.

Meanwhile, the other priority that Eisenberger wants council to focus on is affordable housing. Hamilton already approved the mayor’s plan to spend $50 million over 10 years to build more units, but staff said more needs to be done.

“We need to leverage that with other governments, province, federal and the private sector (so) they need to step up,” said Eisenberger. “If we pull it all together we can really make some significant strides to provide a lot more units.”

Paul Johnson, general manager of the city’s healthy and safe communities, said Hamilton will be creating about 100 more affordable housing units with the city’s investment. But in reality those units “won’t help us keep pace, let alone get ahead,” he said.

“We have to get a bit more creative,” said Johnson.

He said Hamilton remains committed to building affordable housing at 191 York Blvd., even after the Progressive Conservative government eliminated the funding that the former Liberals had allocated for the project. But other proposals are moving ahead including in Roxborough Park and Jamesville. He also sees opportunities to build affordable housing along the LRT corridor as Metrolinx continues to buy up land.

“The development community working in partnership with the city is one way,” said Johnson. “That opportunity with LRT is always there for affordable housing. I think there is an opportunity to work with Metrolinx.”

Thorne said the city sees about 2,500 housing units built every year. But that isn’t enough to accommodate Hamilton’s growing population, which is expected to skyrocket by 29 per cent to 780,000 by 2041.

Thorne said the last council approved new zoning initiatives that will allow laneway housing to be built. Other ideas to expand housing options expected to be discussed by council will be the creation of basement apartments, he said.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says it's "full-speed ahead" for LRT

'Full-speed ahead' says mayor

News Oct 28, 2018 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

It’s “full-speed ahead” to build the $1-billion light-rail transit project, says Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

“We have a strong mandate from the people of Hamilton,” said Eisenberger three days after he captured 54 per cent of the vote in the Oct. 22 municipal election over anti-LRT candidate Vito Sgro’s 38 per cent.

“It speaks to the great work we have been doing the past four years and a good vision going forward. I think people saw the merits of that.”

Eisenberger said LRT will be among the top priorities for the new council, which is scheduled to be installed in the Dec. 3 inaugural meeting.

Related Content

“We also have a mandate to move on LRT as we have been and get this up and running,” said Eisenberger. “As staff said, it’s full-speed ahead as far as they are concerned.”

During the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce City Manager’s Breakfast event that attracted a sold-out crowd of more than 350 people at the Sheraton Hamilton on Oct. 25, planning general manager Jason Thorne said despite the political talk about LRT, for staff it has been “business as usual."

“We haven’t stopped working on it,” said Thorne.

He said there are three consortiums that have been shortlisted to bid on the LRT project. A decision will be made next spring which company will be awarded the contract. Thorne said once the consortium is selected there will be “several months” of negotiations. A closing date for a final contract with the company should be completed by the fall of 2019, with construction expected to begin either late 2019 or early 2020, said Thorne.

Eisenberger said the new council needs to vote on LRT to show the community and the province that Hamilton remains steadfast in its resolve to build the project.

“At some point we need a strong commitment from council that this is now done (with the discussion) and let’s move on,” he said.

But one new councillor may have a problem with supporting the mayor on LRT. Ward 7 Coun.-elect Esther Pauls, a critic of LRT, said voters told her they don’t want the project.

“I owe it to my constituents to say let me look at it first,” she said. “I will stand up for Ward 7. That’s why I was elected. I couldn’t let them down now. So as it stands now it’s a no (against LRT).”

She said if the majority of her constituents supported Eisenberger in the election then she will side with the mayor on the project.

Meanwhile, the other priority that Eisenberger wants council to focus on is affordable housing. Hamilton already approved the mayor’s plan to spend $50 million over 10 years to build more units, but staff said more needs to be done.

“We need to leverage that with other governments, province, federal and the private sector (so) they need to step up,” said Eisenberger. “If we pull it all together we can really make some significant strides to provide a lot more units.”

Paul Johnson, general manager of the city’s healthy and safe communities, said Hamilton will be creating about 100 more affordable housing units with the city’s investment. But in reality those units “won’t help us keep pace, let alone get ahead,” he said.

“We have to get a bit more creative,” said Johnson.

He said Hamilton remains committed to building affordable housing at 191 York Blvd., even after the Progressive Conservative government eliminated the funding that the former Liberals had allocated for the project. But other proposals are moving ahead including in Roxborough Park and Jamesville. He also sees opportunities to build affordable housing along the LRT corridor as Metrolinx continues to buy up land.

“The development community working in partnership with the city is one way,” said Johnson. “That opportunity with LRT is always there for affordable housing. I think there is an opportunity to work with Metrolinx.”

Thorne said the city sees about 2,500 housing units built every year. But that isn’t enough to accommodate Hamilton’s growing population, which is expected to skyrocket by 29 per cent to 780,000 by 2041.

Thorne said the last council approved new zoning initiatives that will allow laneway housing to be built. Other ideas to expand housing options expected to be discussed by council will be the creation of basement apartments, he said.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says it's "full-speed ahead" for LRT

'Full-speed ahead' says mayor

News Oct 28, 2018 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

It’s “full-speed ahead” to build the $1-billion light-rail transit project, says Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

“We have a strong mandate from the people of Hamilton,” said Eisenberger three days after he captured 54 per cent of the vote in the Oct. 22 municipal election over anti-LRT candidate Vito Sgro’s 38 per cent.

“It speaks to the great work we have been doing the past four years and a good vision going forward. I think people saw the merits of that.”

Eisenberger said LRT will be among the top priorities for the new council, which is scheduled to be installed in the Dec. 3 inaugural meeting.

Related Content

“We also have a mandate to move on LRT as we have been and get this up and running,” said Eisenberger. “As staff said, it’s full-speed ahead as far as they are concerned.”

During the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce City Manager’s Breakfast event that attracted a sold-out crowd of more than 350 people at the Sheraton Hamilton on Oct. 25, planning general manager Jason Thorne said despite the political talk about LRT, for staff it has been “business as usual."

“We haven’t stopped working on it,” said Thorne.

He said there are three consortiums that have been shortlisted to bid on the LRT project. A decision will be made next spring which company will be awarded the contract. Thorne said once the consortium is selected there will be “several months” of negotiations. A closing date for a final contract with the company should be completed by the fall of 2019, with construction expected to begin either late 2019 or early 2020, said Thorne.

Eisenberger said the new council needs to vote on LRT to show the community and the province that Hamilton remains steadfast in its resolve to build the project.

“At some point we need a strong commitment from council that this is now done (with the discussion) and let’s move on,” he said.

But one new councillor may have a problem with supporting the mayor on LRT. Ward 7 Coun.-elect Esther Pauls, a critic of LRT, said voters told her they don’t want the project.

“I owe it to my constituents to say let me look at it first,” she said. “I will stand up for Ward 7. That’s why I was elected. I couldn’t let them down now. So as it stands now it’s a no (against LRT).”

She said if the majority of her constituents supported Eisenberger in the election then she will side with the mayor on the project.

Meanwhile, the other priority that Eisenberger wants council to focus on is affordable housing. Hamilton already approved the mayor’s plan to spend $50 million over 10 years to build more units, but staff said more needs to be done.

“We need to leverage that with other governments, province, federal and the private sector (so) they need to step up,” said Eisenberger. “If we pull it all together we can really make some significant strides to provide a lot more units.”

Paul Johnson, general manager of the city’s healthy and safe communities, said Hamilton will be creating about 100 more affordable housing units with the city’s investment. But in reality those units “won’t help us keep pace, let alone get ahead,” he said.

“We have to get a bit more creative,” said Johnson.

He said Hamilton remains committed to building affordable housing at 191 York Blvd., even after the Progressive Conservative government eliminated the funding that the former Liberals had allocated for the project. But other proposals are moving ahead including in Roxborough Park and Jamesville. He also sees opportunities to build affordable housing along the LRT corridor as Metrolinx continues to buy up land.

“The development community working in partnership with the city is one way,” said Johnson. “That opportunity with LRT is always there for affordable housing. I think there is an opportunity to work with Metrolinx.”

Thorne said the city sees about 2,500 housing units built every year. But that isn’t enough to accommodate Hamilton’s growing population, which is expected to skyrocket by 29 per cent to 780,000 by 2041.

Thorne said the last council approved new zoning initiatives that will allow laneway housing to be built. Other ideas to expand housing options expected to be discussed by council will be the creation of basement apartments, he said.