January 10th, 2019

NDP opposes any Ford scheme to steal and privatize Toronto’s subway

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP Transportation critic Jessica Bell is calling on Doug Ford to disclose the reports and advice he’s received, and come clean on his plan to break apart the TTC, saying a subway selloff would not be in the best interest of Torontonians.

Minister Jeff Yurek confirmed on CTV Thursday that the government is going to give subway station projects to private developers going forward.

“This whole scheme is looking more and more like the first step in a Doug Ford plan to sell off Toronto’s subway system,” said Bell. “Privatization would mean higher fares, worse service and even more crowding. If Ford has already quietly taken the first step by promising developers that they’ll get their mitts on subway stations from now on, I think the people of Toronto will have questions about who that really is designed to benefit.”

Ford appointee Michael Lindsay was slated to provide an initial report on the subway-steal plan in December. But the Ford government is keeping Lindsay’s report, and all advice and plans for Toronto’s subways, a secret.

“Doug Ford is hiding his scheme because people won’t like it,” said Bell. “If this was a plan to benefit the people of Ontario, he’d be proud to share it with folks.”

Bell said instead of focusing on how to make Toronto’s transit profitable for wealthy developers, Ford should focus on making it more convenient, dignified and affordable for commuters.

“Shorter commutes, less crushing overcrowding and shorter waits for the bus, subway, streetcar or train to arrive — these things are achievable,” said Bell. “But not if Doug Ford plows ahead with a plan to turn our transit system into a cash cow.”