Premier to Toronto’s mayoral hopefuls: Transit City is happening, so deal with it

Premier to Toronto’s mayoral hopefuls: Transit City is happening, so deal with it

The buck starts here (Image: Jennifer K. Warren)

Despite the magical mystery plans offered by the city’s mayoral hopefuls, changes to any program as expensive as public transit have to go through the office of one person: Dalton McGuinty. He controls the purse strings of Metrolinx, and it’s by his whims that Transit City is limping along at a slower pace than David Miller would like. So what does the Preem say about proposals to build subways—like those offered by Sarah Thomson, Rocco Rossi and Rob Ford—which amount to telling the province that we’d like to take its money and spend it whichever way we please?

According to the Sun, this:

“I know there’s a healthy debate that’s taking place, various candidates are putting forward different kinds of proposals, I think that’s a good thing and gives voters an opportunity to consider the different possibilities,” McGuinty said Tuesday. “But we’ve got to stick to the plan that’s in place right now which is Transit City in combination with Metrolinx, and we’re going to keep moving forward on that.”

Let’s all get ready for the inevitable accusations that the McGuinty government is interfering in the election, or maybe even endorsing Joe Pantalone (the only candidate who’s standing up for Transit City). Or maybe Queen’s Park is just telling people how it intends to spend provincial money?

Of course, the power at Queen’s Park cuts both ways: there’s an election for them in about a year’s time, too, and Tim Hudak has said some awfully nice things about Rob Ford this summer. If Transit City lives by provincial funding, it could die by it, too.

Undeterred, we anxiously await the next subway plan from our mayoral candidates. Tunnel to Wasaga Beach? Why not?

• Transit City money committed: McGuinty [Toronto Sun]