May 10, 2013

By Scott Walker

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Toronto City Council has sent a clear message to the province: if funding transit requires more taxes, it’s up to you to impose them.

After two days of debate, Council rejected all but two of the suggestions put forward by a staff report. A gas tax, parking levies, and road tolls were all tossed out. Council did not reject a dedicated sales tax, or development fees, but they didn’t vote in favour of them either. That was meant as a message to the province that it will have to act without the approval of Ontario’s largest city.

Mayor Rob Ford says it was one of the best days in Toronto’s history. He said council had saved each household in Toronto a thousand dollars.

TTC Chair Karen Stintz says any taxes would be a provincial decision, and city council came to the only conclusion it could.

The regional transit agency, Metrolinx, will submit its recommendations on how to fund the regional plan called the “Big Move” at the end of the month. The province will make the final decision later this year.

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