Olivia Chow calls on the province and the feds to fund Toronto’s Downtown Relief Line
Olivia Chow has a problem. Fellow mayoral candidates are criticizing her relentlessly for not committing to building the downtown relief line right away. Meanwhile, if she were to suggest a realistic plan for accelerating the line’s construction using city money (by taking on debt and hiking property taxes, say) she’d almost certainly be branded an NDP candidate—a tax-and-spend socialist with no grip on reality.
In an op-ed in today’s Star, Chow attempts to break through this policy impasse with a two-pronged assault. On the one hand, she says the relief line is a priority—but not the only priority—for public transit in Toronto. On the other, she acknowledges, as she has in the past, that the new subway line would be incredibly expensive to build (around $8 billion, by one estimate), and that ultimately the project hinges on financial contributions from higher orders of government.
“I urge premier Kathleen Wynne and her government to spell out a finance plan for Metrolinx and the TTC, including a viable plan to finance the new relief line,” Chow writes. “Senior levels of government keep the lion’s share of taxes paid our city…They have a responsibility to invest in important priorities, just as the city has a responsibility to propose the right ones.” (Interestingly, Spacing’s John Lorinc totally called this particular line of messaging.)
This is nothing we haven’t heard before. In fact, Wynne has already said that she’ll be announcing a plan for funding transit, although so far we only know what it won’t contain. The interesting thing here is that Chow is saying what the other candidates, so far, haven’t: there’s no easy way to build this subway line in the short term, and there are other things we can be doing while we wait. It will be interesting to see if any of the subway-hawk candidates—particularly John Tory and Rob Ford—are able to come up with anything as cogent. They still have time.
2 thoughts on “Olivia Chow calls on the province and the feds to fund Toronto’s Downtown Relief Line”
Chow is using realism. Ford had/has the city dreaming of free Subways that take 10 plus years to build. People still have to use the transit we have now. The reality is – York Subway extension began…how many years ago? Scheduled to be complete and running by 2016? Five additional Subway stops. Eglinton Crosstown? 2020? 2023? DRL? 2031? Union to Pearson? 2015? You still have to use the Buses, trains, streetcars and even GO to get from point A to point B until some of these projects materialize, rather than dream Subways, as if it were a Candy Cane. Tory is babbling about Subways too, but the reality is a) Environmental Assessments b) Engineering Studies c) Routing d) Financing etc…and they take 5-10 years. A Mayors term is 4.
Yes, this is all we need in Toronto, a race based and racist mayoralty candidate supported carte blanche by arguably Toronto’s most racist community, the Chinese community.
In a recent media scrum, when asked about what separates her from former failed mayor, David Miller, Olivia Chow replied, “Well, I am not white and not male.”
By making the ill-advised comments, Olivia Chow only serves to confirm the worst fears of those who reject her. She was and remains a radical feminist with a race based bias and agenda. Be warned any of those who delusionally imagine that this unapologetic race baiter deserves a chance at being mayor.
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