In spite of the announcement from MPP Ted McMeekin earlier this week that LRT money is for LRT only, some Councilors still seem to think they can negotiate to have the money for ‘other’ Hamilton projects.
Although few things are for sure in politics, the chances of the Province giving Hamilton a blank cheque for a billion dollars, for the City to spend as it wishes, is ludicrous !
Money is tight and this Provincial government, like all governments, wants to ensure that they get full value and full public relations kudos for any money they dole out.
Don’t forget that a few years ago, the Province handed about $30 million to Hamilton to deal with the City’s infrastructure needs, and in spite of crumbling sidewalks and needed sewer work, City Council spent the majority of the money on a little used pedestrian bridge over the QEW.
Sometime later, a sizeable social services overpayment was delivered to the City and instead of directing the money toward housing or social services needs, Councilors decided to spend the money on pet projects in their own wards.
I’m told that both instances were viewed by Queens Park as irresponsible spending of government funds.
They won’t make the same mistake again.
Money for LRT only may not seem fair to some Councilors, but given their spending record, it’s likely the way it’s going to be.