Hamilton LRT cancellation: A Christmas Fucking Miracle!

Anonymous submission to North Shore

Working class Hamilton families breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday afternoon, when the Province announced they were killing the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.  After 10+ years of living in the shadow of the Hamilton renaissance monster, with the housing walls closing in, this is the best holiday news many have heard in over a decade.

Hamilton has been wracking up some seriously shitty stats the last while.  In 2016, the CMHC named Hamilton one of 4 ‘red-flag’ cities with “dangerously overvalued” property, as ECDEV forced our way aboard Toronto’s SS Titanic housing bubble. This year we landed on the list of Top 10 most unaffordable cities for minimum wage workers (folks now working 55-60+ hours/week to afford a basic apartment).  And for the shit cherry on top of this hot shit sundae: we took the top prize this year for the highest one-year rent increase in all of Canada, at 24%.

So when the announcement came that Metrolinx’s LRT project – the engine that’s been driving this community-wrecking shitmobile – was being shelved?  The joy was impossible to contain.  The joy overfloweth.  It was a Christmas fucking miracle.  And many of us have spent the past 4 days in a dizzy bacchanal, drunk on the tears of realtors, developers and the new urbanist toadies that were all too happy to sacrifice thousands of their fellow Hamiltonians at the altar of ‘progress’ to see that 14 km stretch of fancy track laid.

For the folks being pushed to the wrong side of those socio-economic tracks, everything about the LRT news is fucking GOLD!  Some immediate highlights include:

– Watching our city officials and booster-douches put aside their 28 billion litres of shit difference, to join together for some protest cosplay at the announcement.  What a spectacle!  Seeing them all yelling outside of an unlocked door that they’ve been asked not to open, like it was some impenetrable castle gate? HILARIOUS!

– 36 developments that were proposed along the King Street corridor are now in jeopardy?  HOORAY!  Let’s make it 136!

– 2+ billion in private investments are now at risk?  WOO HOO!  Let’s make that 5+ billion!

– Toronto transplants crying on social media, saying they are thinking of leaving the city over this news?  FUCK YEAH!  Please take all your friends and restauranteurs with you!  Don’t let the for sale sign smash you repeatedly in the fucking face on the way out!

– the entire cast of the #HamOnt Twitterati ‘progressive’ fuck-weasel feed crying for the economic wellbeing of predatory fuck-vultures like Red Brick, Malleum, Ambitious, Urbanicity etc?  YES YES YES!   Barkeep! another round of tears for me and my pals!

GOLD.  This entire LRT death dance has been holiday fucking gold!

And how about all that hot critical analysis that followed?  Hoo boy. One of my faves has to be all the folks crying foul about Ford inflating values and using future costs to push his LRT-killing agenda.  Acting like they’ve all spotted the 2nd shooter from the grassy knoll.  “That’s not fair” they cry!  “He can’t do that” they cry!  “It’s not real math” they cry!  “He’s a liar” they cry!   Well ain’t that some shit.  And pretty fucking ironic considering THE ENTIRE HAMILTON RENAISSANCE IS BUILT ON SPECULATIVE FUTURE VALUES, TIED TO THE LRT PROJECT.  Speculation is, 100%, the new steel.  From the cost of property to the cost of burgers (sorry, I mean brgrs) – this entire city is priced by speculation.  Fixed for some as-yet-to-exist future Hamilton yuppie demographic; some influx of greasy craft-beer sipping, waxed-beard fuckfaces with bikes priced like cars.  The average present day Hamiltonian cannot afford to go out on the town.  The average present day Hamiltonian cannot afford to buy a home.  Why?  Because our city has been ripped from the hands of the present day average Hamiltonian and given to this future douche crowd, who are all riding in on the speculation around LRT.  It’s a lie!  It’s a sham!  It’s bad math!  It’s like what Ford did only, with serious, real-life, material consequences that are ruining tens of thousands of peoples’ lives.  What Ford did was unfair?  BOO-fucking-HOO. Welcome to the city of unfair. Looks good on ya.

We’ve also been hearing a lot of moaning about the $150+ million that has already been spent. Folks crying that we need to see the LRT through to completion cuz we’ve already come so far; dropped so many dollars already.  Right.  It’s like they got the green light to beat us to death but then, after breaking just one leg, a few fingers and some ribs they’ve been forced to stop.  And now they’re all standing over our injured body, demanding to finish the job.  Cool logic bro.  But, yeah, no thanks. We’re good.  You can stop there.

And betrayed!  BETRAYED!  Everyone keeps repeating that they feel betrayed.  Well, on behalf of the thousands of Hamiltonians staggering around with new steel daggers stuck in our backs, gushing blood everywhere, choosing between food and bills every month:  BOO-fucking-HOO.  If you want a masterclass in what actual betrayal looks like, visit any one of the thousands of rental units along the proposed LRT line and talk to the moms, grammas and kids that live there.  The folks that LRT betrayed from day fucking one.  The folks whose pile of bones this plan was being built on.  Ask them if they think shaving 14 minutes off their morning commute is worth the doubling or tripling of their rent.  Ask them how much better it is now, working menial shit jobs in this hip, new, super-cool, creative industry hub vs. working menial shit jobs in the old ‘Ontario armpit’ days, when Toronto hated us and everyone could afford to pay rent.  Check in with the hundreds of folks just one unpaid sick day away from living in the fucking ravine. Ask around and see if any of these folks give a single, solitary fuck about the LRT (spoiler alert – they don’t at all).  You’re feeling betrayed because your (dangerously overvalued) housing price might drop or your Danish traffic-dampening designs aren’t being implemented?  BOO-fucking-HOO.  Betrayal doesn’t even begin to describe how the LRT treated our city’s working class; the misery, tears, stress and pain that your fancy progress train has caused, for thousands of families. You’re feeling betrayed because a politician lied to you?  On behalf of the thousands of Hamiltonians that were being socially cleansed from the city to make way for your idyllic green happy train:  FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU.

After 10+ years and several billion in investment, those Code Red stats haven’t changed in the slightest.  The rents have doubled and tripled.  Hundreds of families have been displaced and thousands more are waiting for that other shoe to drop.  Home ownership is completely out of reach for all but the rich.  There are no better job prospects, no new pathways of upward social mobility.  Nothing has trickled down from the newfangled #HamOnt shit heap.  It is clear – the new Hamilton, and the LRT plan it rode in on, were never meant for working class people.  The plan was always meant for the owner class, their friends, and the rat-fucks that want to be them or win their favour.  LRT has always been a death sentence for the city’s poor and working class. LRT has always been a pile of classist shit.

And so we celebrate the news, and we send you our holiday cheer.

To all the developers, realtors, and speculators; to the owner class and their sycophants; to the vulture-fucks, weasel-fucks, rat-fucks and anyone else crying over the LRT cancellation:

We wish you a shitty Christmas, filled with 100s of millions in lost investments!

We hope the cancellation of LRT causes your home values to plummet!

We wish you (even just) 1/10th of the misery and pain we’ve been enduring for LRT!

With holiday cheer, we raise a toast of 2-dollar tall can to your bursting property bubble!  May this LRT cancellation bring you ill health, misfortune and economic ruination!  May this be the first step in the collapse of your housing market and a death knell for everything ‘new steel’!

FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU!

HO HO HO!

3 thoughts on “Hamilton LRT cancellation: A Christmas Fucking Miracle!”

  1. Property speculation isn’t going to stop with the end of LRT. “The New Hamilton” doesn’t end because of a change in transportation policy. A few thousand construction workers might have less real union work in the towers and overpriced condo’s going up in the core, built on mostly empty lots. The thousands of new jobs from LRT construction will vanish.. But the vultures will continue to pick at Hamilton’s decayed corpse. Properties across the city will continue to be snapped up from our poorest neighbourhoods. Those property owners will continue to use substandard labour and no permits to renovicte many more, adding further pressure to a rental market already broken. Code-red neighbourhoods will find demographics changing as more of the working class and poor are driven from those areas or die, so I guess you are calling that a win? Cars will continue to speed through the spaces some of us still live breathing the bad air and toxic legacy of a lifetime. Public Transit in this city will not change or gain real investment in another generation. Those of us in wheelchairs will continue to deal with bus-by-passes and a lack of accessible transit. You can dance a jig of glee at less opportunity to address the challenges of gentrification but eviction notices are still going out. Just remember to put away your “fuck Ford” signs for your next protest. Clearly your less interested in harm reduction of capitalism than a right wing troll bemoaning safe injection sites. Whatever comes next will have less focus on an equity lens and making life a little more manageable for others. As a person living with the Hamilton challenges of that death sentence; Have fun dancing on the thousands of workers this will have a real impact on. I am sure as rents continue to climb your rich parents can be there to keep a roof over your self-riotous asses.

    “when you advocate for systems destruction over systems change it is not the capital class that suffers”

    1. Your comment is a bit confusing. We should like the LRT because rents will go up anyway? Because we already live in an economic system where we have no control over our lives? Because it might have been better than what will be done next with King St? Your argument seems to hinge on the idea that it’s harm reduction and not a form of intensification of the speculation that you agree is a huge problem, that it’s not throwing oil on a fire but trying to make our lives easier while we burn? I really don’t agree. LRT was being used to make all the problems you agree are real worse.

      Your comment is confusing because you’re confused — you cherrypick anticapitalist theory without undertanding it, presumably because you’re on an anticapitalist website, and you repeat every weird liberal argument (there were going to be construction jobs!!). And then you try to say we like Ford? Honestly. Go back to reddit.

  2. Big yes to every word. I’ve been working minimum wage jobs east and west across the city for fucking decades, if there was an let I’d probably be on it every day except oh wait I’d definitely get priced away from king St and be stuck riding slow ridiculius buses like the 5 to get to my same shitty. Its been so frustrating watching people who don’t ride transit and don’t struggle for their rent hyping the lrt, so frustrating the opposition to it was dominated by disgusting rich pieces of shit from the suburbs who don’t want their property taxes subsidising transit for the poors to cross town to work in their gardens or stock the shelves in the meadowlands. Fuck the pro lrt, fuck the no lrt.

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