Ontario asks federal government for $1.5 billion in funding for Hamilton LRT project


Ontario says it needs the federal government to commit $1.5 billion in order to build a light-rail transit line in Hamilton.

The province called on Ottawa to provide the funding today, over a year after it cancelled the project because its costs had escalated to $5.5 billion.

Last year, a provincially appointed panel issued a report saying the city needs a ``higher order'' transit project to address future growth _ either a light-rail line or a bus rapid transit line.

The province said today the line is now a ``fifth priority transit project,'' joining four other Toronto projects that it has committed to building.

Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney says the province remains committed to providing $1 billion in capital funding, but a technical review says that is not enough to cover the cost of a ``viable'' LRT line.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says she will discuss the project with the province and city but would not yet commit the funding.