SOME TORONTO CITY COUNCILLORS WANT TO RE-OPEN TRANSIT DEAL

May 01, 2013

By Scott Walker

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Some Toronto city councillors are concerned that new proposals for transit might derail plans already in place.

TTC Chair Karen Stintz is proposing replacing the aging Scarborough transit line with a subway extension. The current agreement with the province calls for a new light rail transit line.

Scarborough councillors have made their support for possible new taxes to fund transit conditional on a subway in their end of town.

Karen Stintz and the mayor rarely see eye-to-eye these days. But Rob Ford also likes the idea, although not the taxes.

But other councillors worry a change in plans might make the province wary of funding transit in Toronto, since political gridlock has derailed plans in the past. Councillor Gord Perks says, “I’m terrified for the future of Toronto when the Mayor and the Chair of the TTC are in a bidding war with monopoly money in order to win friends in Scarborough.”

Reports say the province is reluctant to re-open the $8.4-billion deal with Toronto, but also wants Toronto city council’s buy-in on its plans for dedicated taxes to pay for regional transit expansion.

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