Tim Hudak would cancel the Finch and Sheppard light-rail lines

Tim Hudak would cancel the Finch and Sheppard light-rail lines

(Image: Hudak: Ontario Chamber of Commerce; LRT: courtesy of Bombardier) (Image: Hudak: Ontario Chamber of Commerce; LRT: courtesy of Bombardier)
 

It has been almost 20 years since the last time a newly elected conservative provincial government cancelled a major Toronto public-transit project, and it seems as though Tim Hudak thinks the city is overdue for a repeat. The PC leader told reporters this morning that, if his party wins next month’s election, he’ll cancel four planned light-rail projects in the GTA, including lines that are supposed to be installed on Sheppard and Finch avenues.

According to the Globe, Hudak framed his announcement in terms of priorities. “When you look at what Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals want to do, it’s a huge laundry list. But the only thing that gets done is the list gets longer and no projects get built,” he said. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which is already under construction, would proceed as planned, but a few other planned projects would also get the axe, including electrification of the GO network. (Community activists who have fought for years to abolish diesel commuter trains aren’t going to happy about that one.)

Both the Sheppard and the Finch lines have been studied exhaustively and endorsed by Metrolinx and Toronto city council. Initial estimates predicted that both lines could be up and running before 2020. And the money was in place, more or less: Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government recently announced $15 billion in transit funding for the GTA.