LRT Planning Again Derailed by Brampton Council

Photo Courtesy @fightgridlock

Does Brampton have an LRT Plan? The take-away from the Planning Committee meeting held on Monday June 20th is that Brampton City Council is no further ahead in deciding where an LRT should run through Brampton. The latest fiasco in this saga had a few Councillors championing the idea of running the LRT through valley lands north of Nanwood.

Toronto and Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA), who manages the valley lands took exception to the plan. The stake was finally driven home after valley residents formed the “Stop the Creek Route” group and threatened any Councillor who voted in favor of pursuing the idea with voter retribution in the next election. Council finally listened and voted to take that route off the table. Unfortunately, Council also voted in favor of having Environmental Assessments (EAs) completed for the Kennedy and McLaughlin routes at a cost that could approach $30 million. Brilliant!

Last Fall, Brampton Focus delegated at the special LRT council meeting held at the Rose Theatre.  As a group, Brampton Focus advocated that Council accept the Province’s fully funded HMLRT route. We specifically asked Council if they had an alternate “Made in Brampton” plan ready to implement and take to the Province for funding consideration. They did not respond because clearly there is no plan.

Council is adrift on how to go about the process of creating a plan and solving our transportation problems. Council chooses to waste time, ignore staff, and flush tax payers dollars down the drain on studies that will likely result in no action. Some members of this Council have shown they are incompetent and not qualified to make decisions on an LRT route. This Council has created a solid case for why significant interconnected regional transit planning and implementation should not be left in the hands of municipal politicians. Petty politicking, back room deal making and short sighted decision making gets in the way of creating lasting solutions to our city’s most pressing problems.

Is it time for the Province to step in and use their power to over-ride this Council and mandate the LRT be built as originally planned? What is clear is that a majority of council likes the status quo. Doing nothing unfortunately is not an option for our rapidly growing city and it looks like this (picture) is the closest we will come to having an LRT in Brampton for many years to come.

Watch the delegation by Brampton Focus Director Paul Vicente: