McGuinty to Toronto: no deal on TTC money this year

McGuinty to Toronto: no deal on TTC money this year

Dark clouds gather for the TTC (Image: Neil Ta, from the Toronto Life Flickr pool) 

One of David Miller’s objectives in his last year in office is to hammer out a deal with Queen’s Park for the province to take back some of the responsibility for transit funding that was dumped on Toronto during the Harris years. (It’s so important that it’s already being written into future plans: when Miller announced his “unanticipated surplus” a month ago, it was partly in anticipation of cost-sharing.) So the mayor must have been smarting to hear Dalton McGuinty announce yesterday that there will be no deal before the end of this year, and even when a deal materializes, it’ll be small potatoes. Quotes the Sun:

“Were we able to come to some understanding, it would necessarily entail us taking on more over an extended period of time because we just don’t have the capacity to do it all at once,” McGuinty said.

This is just the latest in a string of announcements regarding spending for Toronto, or the lack thereof. Metrolinx: on hold. Money for roads: anywhere but here. It’s almost like there’s a pattern. In an interview last weekend, Miller put the situation in apocalyptic terms: if the city can’t get transit rolling soon, it’s looking at even worse gridlock and dysfunction, which hits the poorest the hardest. Toronto has to find a way to make room for 1 million new residents over the next 20 years, and getting people out of cars is one of the few ways to do that.

McGuinty, for his part, hints that Toronto should “live within [its] means according to the circumstances for the time.” How, exactly, he didn’t say.

McGuinty says no TTC funding deal by year’s end [CTV]
• Province hits brakes on TTC funding
• David Miller: Toronto’s future rides on commitment to transit [Toronto Star]