Adding a $4-billion insult to injury: Dalton McGuinty kicks the TTC while it’s down

Adding a $4-billion insult to injury: Dalton McGuinty kicks the TTC while it’s down

A vision of the TTC's future—maybe (Image: Bombardier) 

Dalton McGuinty and Dwight “The Blight” Duncan dealt a huge blow to GTA public transit in their budget yesterday. Provincial funding for the futuristic Transit City plan is being cut, while dollars will flow north—way north—to encourage old-time industries like mining. “The discovery of chromite in the Ring of Fire could be as big as the discovery of nickel was in Sudbury in the 19th century,” said the finance minister in his speech. Turns out that chromite is a key ingredient in stainless steel, and that the Ring of Fire is a patch of land about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay (with no relation to Johnny Cash).

As for Toronto, the Star is reporting that the government is asking Metrolinx to delay $9.3 billion worth of transit plans that have already been announced:

Projects likely to proceed include the Union-Pearson-Georgetown GO Transit link, the Sheppard light-rail transit line and the York University line, government officials said.

But the austerity moves could affect five planned projects: rapid-transit lines for Finch Avenue West, Sheppard Avenue East and the Scarborough RT, along with the Eglinton Avenue cross-town line and an expansion of York Region’s Viva service.

Cutting billions from GTA transit while spending almost $200 million to build a stainless steel bridge to the 19th century sounds like an odd priority, but at least Toronto’s vibrant body piercing industry won’t run out of quality surgical steel.

• Miller decries transit delays in Ontario budget [Toronto Star]
• Liberals eye Ontario’s northern resource riches [Toronto Star]