December 2nd, 2022

NDP demands transparency from Ford and Metrolinx on devastating Eglinton LRT delays

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP GTA Issues critic Bhutila Karpoche and Toronto-St. Paul’s NDP MPP Jill Andrew are demanding transparency from the Ford government on the repeated Eglinton Crosstown LRT delays that have been devastating for local businesses and residents.

In September, Metrolinx announced that the project’s completion will be delayed by one more year, which neither the Ministry of Transportation or Metrolinx have explained. On Wednesday, the Ontario Auditor General’s report warned of deficient designs and missed deadlines.

“In the over a decade that the Eglington LRT has been under construction and faced delays, the lives of Ontarians running small businesses and living both in Little Jamaica and in the Midtown area have been severely impacted,” said Andrew. “These are costs businesses won’t be able to recover, and many have already been forced to shutter completely.

“Mr. Ford has done nothing to provide direct relief to businesses and neither has he explained why the project keeps getting delayed. People are tired of waiting for the promise of growth this LRT was to bring.

"To top it off, increased congestion and poor walkability in certain parts along the construction line make it difficult to get around, especially for vulnerable road users, seniors and people using mobility devices."

Also Wednesday, the Ottawa LRT Inquiry report cited the public-private partnership delivery model as a cause of difficulties like lack of transparency and misleading information.

“Many of the same P3 contracts and private consultants responsible for the Ottawa LRT are also responsible for the Eglinton-Crosstown P3,” said Karpoche. “We’re already seeing signs that the problems experienced with the Ottawa LRT could re-occur with the Eglinton LRT project. But both the Ford government and Metrolinx refuse to tell people what’s going on.

“Clearly, something has once again gone wrong with the Eglinton Crosstown P3. What is the Minister and Metrolinx hiding? People deserve to know.”