Today, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government announced their plans for public transit in Toronto. The largest piece of the plan is a revision to the “Downtown Relief Line”, now called the “Ontario Line”, which will run from Ontario Place, to the Ontario Science Center in my riding of Don Valley East.
First, I am happy to see that this government is continuing to fund at least part of the previous Liberal government’s record investments into public transit infrastructure.
While I am thrilled to see that the residents of the Flemingdon Park and Don Mills communities will see much improved access to transit, I am concerned by the lack of consultation with the community and with the City of Toronto. I also have serious questions about the funding.
It is disappointing that there were absolutely no consultations with the community. Future access to quick and efficient public transit is laudable, but what effect will this have on the cost of housing and how will the government work to ensure residents will not be forced out of the community? These are questions that must be answered and consulted on.
In regards to funding, they’ve said they expect the municipal and federal governments to contribute the majority of funding but both were absent from the announcement and seem to be in the dark about this government’s plans. It is not an encouraging start when the feasibility of these projects depends on that shared funding model.
Everyone in the GTA can appreciate that this government is keeping public transit on the front burner. However, as all Toronto residents know, especially with Doug Ford, the devil is always in the details.
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