John Tory celebrates the fact that Queen’s Park has noticed SmartTrack
Normal guy and Toronto mayor John Tory spent some of Thursday celebrating what he said was a milestone for his mayoralty: a mention, deep within the newly released 2015 Ontario budget, of his SmartTrack transit plan. “I’m very much viewing this as very significant progress,” Tory told reporters. “If it’s not happening, why is it in their budget?” The answer to Tory’s rhetorical question is that Queen’s Park had been planning to make improvements to Toronto’s regional rail corridors long before SmartTrack existed as a concept. So, although the budget mentions funding for express rail, it’s all money that would probably have been spent regardless of who happened to be mayor. Tory still has a multi-billion-dollar budget hole to fill before the project stands a chance of being built, meaning what he’s actually celebrating, right now, is the status quo.