April 12th, 2018

NDP: Liberal subway scheme lifts from Tory playbook, ignores transit experts

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the Wynne Liberal’s recent proposal to assume provincial ownership of the TTC subways flies in the face of expert advice, the longstanding position of Toronto City council, the needs of transit riders, and the public interest.

“In her new budget, the premier proposed that the province assume ownership of Toronto’s subway lines. This is the same idea one former Conservative leader floated back in 2014, which was roundly condemned at the time by Toronto city councillors, the TTC, transit advocates and the public,” said Horwath in question period on Thursday.

“It is also the same idea that the Conservatives are floating in their current plan which again has been roundly condemned.”

Horwath has promised that an NDP government would come back to the transit table, covering 50 per cent of transit operating costs for municipalities. This critical stable funding was cut under the Harris government, and was never restored in 15 years of Liberal governments.

“When the TTC is properly funded, it works. When the province paid 50 per cent of the TTC’s operating costs, it was the envy of the world. The TTC works because the buses, streetcars and subways all work together in an integrated network,” said Horwath.

“But now the premier is proposing to take a page from the Conservatives – the same people who filled in a hole where the Eglinton subway should be and then cut off provincial funding for TTC operations.

“Why would the premier even consider breaking up the TTC? Will the premier stop listening to the Conservatives and start listening to transit riders who want their transit system to be properly funded, not broken up?”

Restoring operating costs to the TTC is one part of the NDP’s plan to make life more affordable for Toronto families, which also includes universal pharmacare, dental care for everyone – no matter their employment status, and restoring social housing maintenance and repair funding at the provincial level.