TORONTO CITY COUNCIL WILL DEBATE TRANSIT FUNDING METHODS AFTER ALL

May 08, 2013

By Scott Walker

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faced a revolt by his city council over a discussion of new funding methods for transit.

Ford’s Executive Committee had voted to delay discussion of a staff report on new taxation methods to raise money for transit until after the regional transit agency, Metrolinx, had submitted its report to the province.

Many councillors felt that would leave Toronto without a voice in the final deliberations. Enough councillors wanted the debate to muster the required two-thirds majority to put transit funding on the council agenda.

TTC Chair Karen Stintz was among those calling for the debate. She says she doesn’t agree with all of the report’s recommendations, but refusing to debate the measures means Metrolinx will file its report without input from Ontario’s largest city.

Councillors also agreed to commission a staff report on Porter Airlines’ proposal to fly jets into the Island airport. Porter’s proposal requires lengthening the main runway at Billy Bishop, and lifting the ban on jets. Porter has offered to pay $275,000 for the first in what will become a series of reports on the impact of the proposal.

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