After Tuesday’s controversial decision by council to turn down Brampton’s participation in a $1.6 billion dollar project to bring light rail to Mississauga and Brampton along Hurontario-Main, many have voiced their outrage and outright amazement that city council chose to do what may very well go down in Brampton’s history as one of the worst decisions ever. Councillor Gael Miles was also very clearly outraged and said as much during question period after the decision was made
After 62 delegates — 43 in favour of the LRT and 19 against — council voted to stop the project at Steeles Avenue and disallow it from coming into Brampton GO station, a growing transit hub in the city.
Citizens were rightfully angered after it was blatantly clear the project has public support. A close look at various correspondence to council from the June Planning and Infrastructure Meeting, the July 8 special LRT meeting — where the decision was initially supposed to be made –and the meeting on October 27, shows a clear majority of Bramptonians are in favour of the project.
Various polls including one from community group OneBrampton and an online poll by the Brampton Guardian also showed a 70% public support rate.
So the decision seemed open and shut; in a regular democracy the voice of the people is supposed to prevail right? Apparently not in Brampton. Councillors Grant Gibson, Elaine Moore, John Sprovrieri, Michael Palleschi and Doug Whillans, who have consistently voiced their lack of support for the project — for what appears to be feeble reasons — all voted to stop the project at Steeles Avenue, essentially rendering the full project useless for Bramptonians and rejecting over $200 million in infrastructure money for Brampton.
“I have never ever seen a council snub the public in the way they did tonight,” said Councilor Gael Miles of wards 7-8. Miles went on to question the outwardly feeble arguments against the project by the Councillors who voted no to the allowing the LRT in Brampton’s Downtown — a place desperate for revival and revitalization.
“What happens to our Downtown if we don’t have the LRT come? You may as well tell our Downtown it’s going to shrivel up and die,’ said Councillor Miles. “There’s things going on here that aren’t being said.” No doubt, Councillor Miles voiced what many in attendance were thinking. How could these councillors voted no despite the outpouring of support from the public?
Watch Councillor Miles’ full remarks below.