Jun 03, 2014

By Scott Walker

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It’s a crucial night for Ontario’s three political leaders. The only televised debate takes place tonight with a large undecided vote ready to be convinced.

And, for those voters who view transit as an important issue, a leading environmental think tank could give Tim Hudak’s opponents more ammunition.

The Pembina Institute is giving Hudak’s Conservatives a failing grade when it comes to transit. It says the Green Party has the best plan, because it would reduce gridlock by imposing tolls that would get people off the road and onto transit.

Pembina says the Liberal plan is a close second, followed by the NDP. But it doesn’t like the Conservatives’ plan because it would abandon the “Big Move” transit blueprint for the region in favour of an extension of the Sheppard subway line. Pembina spokesman Bernard Rudney says the Big Move would cost almost a billion dollars less than the Tory plan, but would create 142 new kilometres of transit, versus 18 for the Conservative proposal.

The Pembina Institute says it’s not enough to build new transit. The key to reducing gridlock is to coax people out of their cars and onto transit by imposing additional costs on drivers.

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