May 17th, 2023

Ford Conservatives stuck in the past as the future of Eglinton LRT continues to become uncertain

QUEEN’S PARK – Metrolinx’s latest statement adds to the growing concerns about the future of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT public-private partnership (P3). This morning, Metrolinx announced that Crosslinx Transit Solutions intends to litigate and stop working with the Toronto Transit Commission to deliver this project, which is riddled with complications, and nowhere near completion.

Ontario NDP’s GTA Issues critic Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale – High Park) sounded the alarm about this P3 project during question period.

“A third lawsuit is now delaying this public-private partnership further. Ontarians have already paid half a billion dollars of tax dollars to Crosslinx to settle the last two lawsuits. Is the Minister even in control of this P3 project?”

Karpoche’s question was met with an inadequate response that borrowed from the Ford Conservative playbook of blaming previous governments for the ongoing failure of this partnership. Despite being in government for the past five years, Ford Conservatives refuse to be held accountable for this project’s inefficiencies, uncertain future, and ballooning cost.

“The people of Ontario paid a steep premium for the contract with Crosslinx Transit Solutions because they were told that with a public-private partnership, the public would benefit and the private would assume the risks. Instead, we have hemorrhaged billions of dollars and long delays, with no timeline or a credible plan to complete the Eglinton LRT. ”

Eglinton Crosstown LRT is currently in its thirteenth year of construction and has cost Ontarians over thirteen billion dollars. Hundreds of small businesses along Eglinton, including many Black-owned businesses, have had to shutter their doors because of the uncertainty of this project.

“This latest nonsense coming from Crosslinx Transit Solutions is adding more needless harm on my community, especially residents and business owners along Eglinton” said MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto – St. Paul’s). “While they’ve always welcomed the Crosstown LRT line to bring much-needed public transit to our growing community, they’re understandably exhausted by this project’s lack of transparency to the public and lack of progress on the project.”

MPP Andrew has repeatedly called for Metrolinx to better engage with community, as well as a public inquiry to provide long-awaited answers for the reasons behind ongoing delays. She has also tabled a motion calling for overdue financial relief for impacted small businesses.