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DVS 03-26-2010 09:52 AM

McGuinty Cuts Toronto Transit Budget
 
Ontario Premiers have been killing Toronto's transit objectives ever since I could remember. I personally can't stand street cars. They take up space and I think rail transit should be left underground. However; something really should be done and the gov't always dupes this issue.



http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/arti...es-gta-transit
Quote:

Calling the move “disgraceful,” “thoughtless” and “thick,” Toronto Mayor David Miller denounced the Ontario government’s move yesterday to postpone $4 billion in GTA transit expansion.

“This is beyond short-sighted,” Miller told reporters, his voice quavering while pointing out that threatened lines include ones to help residents of some of Toronto’s poorest neighbourhoods—in northeast Scarborough and northwest Etobicoke—get to work without taking several buses.

“It makes absolutely no economic sense, it makes no sense from a social policy perspective,” Miller said, an opinion echoed by several Toronto mayoral candidates.

PrDaltemier on McGuinty’s government is asking its Metrolinx regional transit agency to find a way to save $4 billion over five years by delaying some of the $9.3 billion worth of transit projects previously announced.

Projects likely to proceed include the Union-Pearson/Georgetown GO Transit link, the Sheppard light rail transit line and the York University line, government officials said.

But the austerity moves could affect five planned projects: rapid transit lines for Finch Ave. W., Sheppard Ave. E. and the Scarborough RT, along with the Eglinton Ave. cross-town line and an expansion of York region’s Viva service.

Delays in transit expansion mean delays in creating “thousands” of well-paying jobs in construction, manufacturing and engineering, Miller said, his voice rising in anger.

The move also threatens preparations for the 2015 Pan Am Games, the mayor said, noting that he and McGuinty promised Pan Am officials that the new transit lines would be ready to move athletes, officials and spectators.

Toronto mayoral candidates expressed mixed views. Like Miller, candidate and city councillor Joe Pantalone called the announced delays “shockingly horrible.”

“It makes no sense whatsoever,” he said. “The OECD (Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) said last year we’re losing $3.2 billion a year because of congestion.

“You can’t be productive if you’re stuck in traffic,” Pantalone said.

Former McGuinty cabinet minister George Smitherman said the delays give the city needed breathing space to implement the expansion plans, avoiding “the disastrous approach we saw” on the St. Clair Ave. streetcar renovations.

“That said, I fought for (the so-called Transit City proposals) when I was at Queen’s Park,” Smitherman said, “and as mayor I’ll insist senior levels of government play their role in building the city we want.”

Candidate and city councillor Rob Ford said he never supported the Eglinton Ave. and Finch Ave. plans in the first place and would not be disappointed to see them die.

“I’m not a fan of street cars,” he said, also citing the St. Clair Ave. project, which went close to three times over its $43 million budget and took years longer to build than scheduled.

Candidate Sarah Thomson said the province’s move proves that Toronto must cast off its dependence on the province.

“This transit plan is so vital to Toronto,” said Thomson, who has proposed such measures as rush-hour highway tolls to fund transit expansion. “It’s our long-term strategy for economic growth.”

The solution, said Toronto mayoral candidate and city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, is to let Ontario take over Toronto-area city transit entirely.

“It should be one transit system for the GTA and not a number of them,” he said.

Candidate Rocco Rossi said the city needs the province as a transit partner and “we also need an assurance that the billions in promised support will materialize.”

Going slower is just another “Never Never plan,” said TTC Chair Adam Giambrone, who has pulled out of the mayoral race.

“In five years, you kill projects,” he said, adding that the province has lost the credibility it gained when it touted an unprecedented North American transit expansion for all the right social, environmental and economic reasons.

The city’s most economically vulnerable neighbourhoods will likely be most affected if the Finch LRT and Scarborough Rapid Transit lines are cut or delayed, the TTC chair said. “People in Scarborough spend three hours commuting each day.”

Transit blogger and long-time transit advocate Steve Munro said the $4 billion cut essentially kills half the Toronto transit expansion.

“Are we killing these projects or are we completely rethinking the commitment to transit?” he asked rhetorically.

Thursday’s budget also drives a stake through the Yonge subway expansion to Richmond Hill for now, Munro said.

“Premier McGuinty brought real hope to Torontonians when he announced Transit City funding,” said Jamie Kirkpatrick of the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “Now, he’s killed this hope and doomed Torontonians to dirty air.”

fancylad 03-26-2010 10:55 AM

fuck.

'trane 03-26-2010 11:01 AM

the whole budget was cut, cut, cut mixed in with erroneous assumptions about the ability to control health care costs over the next 4 years. impossible. bah.

the only saving grace is that under a tory government the cuts would have been worse.

DVS 03-26-2010 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 'trane (Post 354547)
the whole budget was cut, cut, cut mixed in with erroneous assumptions about the ability to control health care costs over the next 4 years. impossible. bah.

the only saving grace is that under a tory government the cuts would have been worse.

This is not about liberals vs conservatives but its more to do with politicians yet again giving you their word and later lift the rug right under you. Its BS these politicians can never be held to their word. If you can't keep a promise don't bother making it.

I'm not surprised transit in Toronto has been cut by provincial and liberal government budgets time and time again.

A politican is like a baby diaper. They get full of shit quickly have have to be changed regularly.

'trane 03-26-2010 11:41 AM

while i can agree to an extent with what you are saying, not all politicians are alike. and if, like me, you stand quite firmly against certain political platforms or perspectives, whether on a point of principle or on a point of reasoned argumentation and policy analysis, you can be quite sure that it is an issue of which party is in power. i don't mind changing governments, but i know quite specifically what direction i don't want them to change towards. that is, unless that party has a radical shift in policy direction.

as someone that quite regularly changes diapers, there are some kinds of shit that are easy to deal with, and others that flat out make you want to throw up.

krillog 03-26-2010 11:44 AM

Its sad to think all those tax dollars used to bail out auto companies could have been used for something useful like improving Canada's public transit system. If the auto companies fail and lose all our money that'll be super lame.

fancylad 03-26-2010 11:50 AM

I was talking about taxes the other day and it really is appauling just how everything is taxed. EVERYTHING. the most frustrating one that i could think of savings tax. Money in your bank account is being taxed. can you believe it? Your savings.... money that you own.... money that you pay a bank to store is being taxed every year.

'trane 03-26-2010 11:53 AM

i like taxes...

DVS 03-26-2010 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krillog (Post 354568)
Its sad to think all those tax dollars used to bail out auto companies could have been used for something useful like improving Canada's public transit system. If the auto companies fail and lose all our money that'll be super lame.

Taken from the many to satisfy the few. I totally agree with you when it came to supporting the auto sector.

Oh wait I think 600 jobs were saved in the auto sector just announced today. YAY

Windex 03-26-2010 03:04 PM

just feel lucky you don't have US government officials

Windex 03-26-2010 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 'trane (Post 354574)
i like taxes...

go move to Denmark or some Scandinavian country

'trane 03-26-2010 04:32 PM

why? i'm quite happy here.


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