Uploading the TTC

Uploading the TTC

Persistent rumour holds that Queen’s Park is willing to take over all or part of the TTC. At least one councillor favours the idea. No one knows for sure what the plan is, though certainly Adam Giambrone is not treating the idea like a rumour, and nor should you. If you’re Dalton McGuinty, you are probably looking at the situation like so:

Once upon a time, the province paid for social services and shared the cost of running the transit system. Your predecessor, Mike Harris, sloughed all those costs off onto cities. Ten years later Toronto is nearly bankrupt. So you have a choice to make:

a)you can save Toronto’s bacon by going back to the way things were before, in which you quietly and reliably pay the bills and get no credit for it whatsoever, or b)you can see Toronto’s pending bankruptcy as the best opportunity you’ll ever have to fundamentally change the relationship between your government and this too-big-for-its-britches money-pit of a city. Like maybe taking a subway system off its hands.

What would you do?

There are many other ways McGuinty could change the relationship between the city and the province, and the TTC is not the only bargaining chip. Nor, I suspect, have we heard the last of the trial balloons. I have no idea what’s coming, but I find it hard to imagine that McGuinty won’t try to do bust the old paradigm in some important and lasting way.