Hamilton needs to cover LRT overruns: Skelly

News Feb 25, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Flamborough-Glanbrook Progressive Conservative MPP Donna Skelly said that Hamilton will have to cover any cost overruns if the $1 billion light rail transit project exceeds its budget.

“We don’t know what the final price tag is,” said Skelly in an interview. “If it’s a billion or less the money is there. If it is beyond the billion dollars, I think at this point the city has to make a decision, how much do they want to put into it.”

Hamilton councillors recently approved a motion requesting the province to identify which government is responsible for any cost overruns on the LRT project.

Answers from the province may be coming when Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek and Mayor Fred Eisenberger meet sometime in March to discuss the LRT; Skelly said that she will also attend, along with any councillor who is interested.

Eisenberger has been attempting to seek a meeting with Premier Doug Ford since he was reelected mayor last fall, to clarify the province’s funding commitment for LRT.

Skelly said that the province remains committed to providing Hamilton with the $1 billion — less any money that has already been spent — for the LRT. She said the $1 billion is a lot of money that other communities would be thrilled  to have.

And despite the budget pressures the province is enduring to ratchet down the $13.5 billion deficit, the Progressive Conservatives will honour its promise to provide the capital financing to Hamilton, she said.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer has said that the deficit is actually about $2.5 billion lower.

“We have tremendous pressures,” said Skelly. “We have health care pressures, pressures with autism, pressures with transit in other communities. A billion dollars is a huge amount of money.”

But if the LRT project falls short of money to extend the line — for instance, from Queenston Traffic Circle to Eastgate Mall — Skelly said that Hamilton will need to pay for any extra costs.

The former Liberal government provided few costing details when it extended the LRT from the traffic circle to Eastgate Mall in April 2017, to get some reluctant councillors on board with the project; however, it did say that it would only provide $1 billion in total funding for the project.

“The city would have to find out how to find (the money),” said Skelly, who cautioned that she isn’t creating any new policy. “If it’s a private agreement, if they want to go to the federal government, or if they want to ask taxpayers for it.

“In light of the pressures this government is facing, I think it would be difficult to be able to secure additional funding over and above $1 billion.”

For a timeline of key moments in Hamilton's LRT project, click here.

 

Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly says Hamilton is responsible for LRT cost overruns

News Feb 25, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Flamborough-Glanbrook Progressive Conservative MPP Donna Skelly said that Hamilton will have to cover any cost overruns if the $1 billion light rail transit project exceeds its budget.

“We don’t know what the final price tag is,” said Skelly in an interview. “If it’s a billion or less the money is there. If it is beyond the billion dollars, I think at this point the city has to make a decision, how much do they want to put into it.”

Hamilton councillors recently approved a motion requesting the province to identify which government is responsible for any cost overruns on the LRT project.

Answers from the province may be coming when Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek and Mayor Fred Eisenberger meet sometime in March to discuss the LRT; Skelly said that she will also attend, along with any councillor who is interested.

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Eisenberger has been attempting to seek a meeting with Premier Doug Ford since he was reelected mayor last fall, to clarify the province’s funding commitment for LRT.

Skelly said that the province remains committed to providing Hamilton with the $1 billion — less any money that has already been spent — for the LRT. She said the $1 billion is a lot of money that other communities would be thrilled  to have.

And despite the budget pressures the province is enduring to ratchet down the $13.5 billion deficit, the Progressive Conservatives will honour its promise to provide the capital financing to Hamilton, she said.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer has said that the deficit is actually about $2.5 billion lower.

“We have tremendous pressures,” said Skelly. “We have health care pressures, pressures with autism, pressures with transit in other communities. A billion dollars is a huge amount of money.”

But if the LRT project falls short of money to extend the line — for instance, from Queenston Traffic Circle to Eastgate Mall — Skelly said that Hamilton will need to pay for any extra costs.

The former Liberal government provided few costing details when it extended the LRT from the traffic circle to Eastgate Mall in April 2017, to get some reluctant councillors on board with the project; however, it did say that it would only provide $1 billion in total funding for the project.

“The city would have to find out how to find (the money),” said Skelly, who cautioned that she isn’t creating any new policy. “If it’s a private agreement, if they want to go to the federal government, or if they want to ask taxpayers for it.

“In light of the pressures this government is facing, I think it would be difficult to be able to secure additional funding over and above $1 billion.”

For a timeline of key moments in Hamilton's LRT project, click here.

 

Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly says Hamilton is responsible for LRT cost overruns

News Feb 25, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Flamborough-Glanbrook Progressive Conservative MPP Donna Skelly said that Hamilton will have to cover any cost overruns if the $1 billion light rail transit project exceeds its budget.

“We don’t know what the final price tag is,” said Skelly in an interview. “If it’s a billion or less the money is there. If it is beyond the billion dollars, I think at this point the city has to make a decision, how much do they want to put into it.”

Hamilton councillors recently approved a motion requesting the province to identify which government is responsible for any cost overruns on the LRT project.

Answers from the province may be coming when Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek and Mayor Fred Eisenberger meet sometime in March to discuss the LRT; Skelly said that she will also attend, along with any councillor who is interested.

Related Content

Eisenberger has been attempting to seek a meeting with Premier Doug Ford since he was reelected mayor last fall, to clarify the province’s funding commitment for LRT.

Skelly said that the province remains committed to providing Hamilton with the $1 billion — less any money that has already been spent — for the LRT. She said the $1 billion is a lot of money that other communities would be thrilled  to have.

And despite the budget pressures the province is enduring to ratchet down the $13.5 billion deficit, the Progressive Conservatives will honour its promise to provide the capital financing to Hamilton, she said.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer has said that the deficit is actually about $2.5 billion lower.

“We have tremendous pressures,” said Skelly. “We have health care pressures, pressures with autism, pressures with transit in other communities. A billion dollars is a huge amount of money.”

But if the LRT project falls short of money to extend the line — for instance, from Queenston Traffic Circle to Eastgate Mall — Skelly said that Hamilton will need to pay for any extra costs.

The former Liberal government provided few costing details when it extended the LRT from the traffic circle to Eastgate Mall in April 2017, to get some reluctant councillors on board with the project; however, it did say that it would only provide $1 billion in total funding for the project.

“The city would have to find out how to find (the money),” said Skelly, who cautioned that she isn’t creating any new policy. “If it’s a private agreement, if they want to go to the federal government, or if they want to ask taxpayers for it.

“In light of the pressures this government is facing, I think it would be difficult to be able to secure additional funding over and above $1 billion.”

For a timeline of key moments in Hamilton's LRT project, click here.