Minister's Statement on Transit in Scarborough
Today, Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure, issued the following statement on transit in Scarborough:
"Today, Toronto City Council is debating two options for extending rapid transit service to the Scarborough Town Centre. In May, we received a conflicting message when City Council voted on a report for the subway option over Light Rail Transit (LRT). It is very difficult for Metrolinx to proceed if City Council and the TTC are not supportive of the transit options that have received municipal approvals. This fall, these projects will be at critical decision points that cannot be delayed and will have substantive cost implications.
This project is one of four major rapid transit projects in Scarborough funded under The Big Move. While we respect that this has been a significant issue, what is being discussed at City Hall is a small piece of a larger plan that will help reduce congestion, create more and better jobs, and most importantly, help people in their everyday lives.
For the first wave of The Big Move, the province is funding 90 per cent of the $16 billion worth of transit improvements in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The government of Canada has failed to be a significant player. If the Harper government stepped up to commit just one third of the capital costs of these critical transit projects, we would be well on our way to a comprehensive solution.
I want to be clear that we are moving forward with The Big Move plan and we do not support putting other Big Move projects at risk through the redirection of funds. If the decision is made that a subway project is preferred, the federal and municipal governments will be responsible for paying the balance of costs. This includes the costs associated with changing the project.
Finally, we need to move beyond the debate of LRT versus subways. This region cannot afford any more delays to the construction of The Big Move projects caused by this debate. Shovels in the ground, with hands from all three levels of government holding on to them, is what Ontarians deserve and look forward to."