Election Issue Watch: let’s all argue about the Gardiner Expressway for another year
At the beginning of the week, it seemed possible that the Gardiner Expressway’s future could be settled without first dragging the issue through eight months of ad-hoc revision during dozens of mayoral debates. Nope!
On Tuesday, at a meeting of the city’s public works and infrastructure committee, councillors voted to shelve a staff-endorsed plan to tear down the Gardiner’s eastern elevated segment. Rather than commit to that course of action, the committee wants the city to spend a year preparing a new option for the Gardiner—one recommended by First Gulf Corporation, a developer, and endorsed by mayoral candidate Karen Stintz. It calls for most of the Gardiner’s eastern stretch to be left standing, but for a new Don Valley Parkway connection to be built. In theory, this would free up land for development without delaying auto traffic.
But consider this: if any of the five major mayoral candidates makes a specific promise concerning how he or she will deal with the Gardiner, and then wins the election decisively enough that he or she is perceived to have a mandate, whatever that candidate wants done with the expressway could very well prevail over the recommendations of any senior city staffers or outside experts. Once issues are sucked into the campaign vortex, they can come flying out at any angle. Toronto will have to wait and see—although the crumbling elevated highway isn’t going to get any cheaper or easier to deal with in the interim.
3 thoughts on “Election Issue Watch: let’s all argue about the Gardiner Expressway for another year”
I’ll make a very easy specific promise dealing with the Gardiner: listen to experts. As mayor, what expertise do I have to override external, unbiased consultants?
Boring answer, yes, but let’s start a new era of mayoral opinions that are just that: opinions, not unilateral decisions that potentially affect millions of fellow citizens.
Oh but Jeff, we didn’t listen to experts when it came to Scarborough transit, and look how well that turned out!!
The “experts” aka Joint Chiefs of Staff advised Kennedy to bomb the missile sites in Cuba. Kennedy listened, but made his own decision and we are still here. So-called experts are all well and good, but their expertise in one area tends to overshadow other competing interests which may also merit consideration. Moreover, we elect representatives to make the final decisions, not the permanent civil servants. The geniuses currently occupying the government benches at Queen’s Park commissioned an expert ( Don Drummond ) to recommend measures to deal with the debt and deficit, but they summarily dismissed the recommendations. Democracy, it is the worst system of government, except for all the rest.
Comments are closed.