Brampton, September 18 (CINEWS): The fate of the LRT proposal will be settled by Brampton councillors on October 27th at the Rose Theatre at 7 pm, an appropriate venue given the current cast of councillors are expected to put up quite a theatrical performance.
It’s going to be played out in front of a sold out show. Naturally, this play has it all- suspense, drama and good acting cast. This is one play that has been well-scripted so far but it has no ending. So here’s what’s at stake. The future of the 1.6 billion Rail Transit (LRT) running through Brampton.
The LRT project was expected to pass following a contentious council vote in July but council was divided and it was then decided to delay the vote by six weeks.
Meanwhile Mayor Linda Jeffreys brought in a facilitator who is currently working behind the scenes to find a solution to an issue that threatens to scuttle the project.
The Oct. 27 meeting will take place only a handful of days before the province’s imposed deadline for a decision on the Metrolinx preferred route for the Hurontario-Main LRT.
Ontario’s transport minister, Steven Del Duca, told a Brampton crowd last week that council must come to a decision on whether to accept the proposed surface route through the downtown by Oct. 31.
Del Duca said if Brampton disagrees, the LRT will run up to Steeles and the rest of the money – approximately $190 million for Steeles Ave. (Gateway Terminal) to Brampton GO – will go back to the Moving Ontario Forward Plan.
On Sept. 2, council voted to hire a facilitator (Malone Given Parsons), at a cost of more than $50,000, to help ease tensions on council after the mayor proposed a referendum on the LRT if they failed to reach a consensus.
Can-India reached out to two Brampton city councillors with opposing views. Regional Councillor John Sprovieri for Ward 9 and 10 and Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon,
No one really wants to be blamed if Brampton fails to get its LRT, the issue that gets in the way is its routing.
What Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon has to say on the LRT issue
Why has this LRT plan become so controversial in Brampton but not in Mississauga?
Mississauga has been a progressive city, focusing on city building and putting its citizens first for the past 25 years while past Brampton councils have sat on their hands. If you compare our cities, Brampton has 1 job for every 3 residents. Mississauga, home to 60 Fortune 500 companies, has 2 jobs for every 3- twice the number. They understand that having a strong regional transit system not only benefits them, but their partners in Peel Region also. Everyone wins!
There are those who believe that Bramptonians who will use the LRT aren’t as many as those who travel to other industrial areas in Mississauga and get there by bus or car, LRT would be useless for them. Your thoughts.
I would like to ask those who give these types of statements to show statistics and facts. There has been too much distraction and delaying by some, with unrealistic scenarios given and have not given any proof or backing for their claims. This has misled some residents and given them a false perception. Regardless, most residents understand are in favour of the HMLRT with 73% of Bramptonians in favour of it, and 90% in my very own wards 9 & 10!
If you had your way what would your ideal LRT route be?
There can always preferred or alternative routes, but we must always go with the tested and studied route. There are billions of tax payer dollars at stake here, and what might suit some personally and benefit their short term agenda, might not be best for the future of Brampton and its long-term growth and end up hurting us rather than benefitting. The province has made it clear that there are NO alternative routes being considered (unless Brampton pays a minimum of $350 million), and that we have until the end of October to give them an answer.
This council vowed to be different, and to bring change, and my goal is to finally UNITE this city whose council has been divided. We do not have a financial district, a shopping district, an entertainment district, adequate regional transit, a major stadium or sports team, and only now have we FINALLY got the opportunity for a university- which is still dependent on the LRT, which will help transport 10,000 students in and out of our city. Let us not make another mistake which will put us back further behind our partners in the GTA. Its time we forge ahead TOGETHER as one city, so our future generations will be proud to call Brampton their home!
What John Sprovieri who represents the City of Brampton – Wards 9 and 10 on the Regional Municipality of Peel Council has to say
Taking the LRT through Brampton Downtown would have very little benefit given it has low ridership. Besides the area lies in the flood plain making a lot of development impossible in the future. With the new hospital on Queen Street and the proposed university coming around the Mclaughlin and Queen Street area, it would make sense to have the LRT run upto Steeles West. With the number of students going to universities in Toronto, it would make more sense to have an LRT connecting Brampton to the new subway in Vaughan. The current route would would not serve the number of Bramptonians who work in the Dixie or Malton area who use buses or drive there. Mississauga will benefit more as they will have good ridership.
You oppose the current route, are you worried the province may just scrap the Brampton portion of the LRT project?
The province is playing games, they say either accept the route or else stop the LRT at Steeles and Highway 10. Brampton council felt there were better options, running it along Kennedy Road would be one option that would help the area which is earmarked for redevelopment and revitalization. Running it along Mclaughlin would also be good for the university.