Ultimately debate was delayed after City Councillors pressed staff Thursday evening to explain pivoting away from a hybrid rapid transit in favour of full bus rapid transit.

The night began with Mayor Matt Brown backing City Staff’s new recommendation for a $500-million Bus Rapid Transit System instead of the $880-Million Hybrid System that would include light rail.

However, several Councillors took the meeting as an opportunity to press city staff to explain why their recommendation changed since a report in November that recommended the Hybrid System.

Staff said that the change was a result of a benefit cost analysis based on a system proposed by the province’s transit agency Metrolinx.

But Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy revealed there may have been hints from the upper levels of government that funding for the hybrid system would have been hard to procure.

“There are occasions where I have had pushback, “ said Cassidy. “$125-million dollars is not one third of $900-million and that has raised eyebrows at other levels of government.”

Deputy Mayor Cassidy did not say whose eyebrows were raised when asked by CTV’s Daryl Newcombe.

Councillor Jesse Helmer said, “What the upper levels of government are saying about their preferences is not really relevant to me. If they want to say no to something we think is the best case for London they can do that.”

In the end Council stopped the debate and supported a motion by Helmer to reconsider holding a public meeting.

The meeting would likely take place in early June after which Councillors would resume the debate from Thursday.