TORONTO – Toronto Mayor John Tory states, “We are building a connected transit network that will help people move around our city. We are reorganizing the City government to ensure we have an office focused on getting our major transit projects built as soon as possible. Council has approved Toronto’s transit network plan, voters have endorsed it and this office will be tasked with making sure every project in that plan, including the Relief Line, is completed on time and on budget.”
The City of Toronto is establishing a new Transit Expansion Office that will lead and direct the City’s participation in long-term, multi-billion-dollar transit network expansion projects. The City also is beginning the search for the office’s first Executive Director.
The new Transit Expansion Office, the first of its kind for the City, will play an important role in providing end-to-end oversight of transit expansion projects as they advance through the project lifecycle and will:
• oversee and facilitate all processes related to transit expansion initiatives
• ensure that City interests and priorities are reflected in transit network expansion efforts
• serve as a single point of contact for all City divisions, the TTC, Metrolinx and other orders of government to coordinate municipal programs and services required to advance transit expansion projects and ensure that transit-related municipal processes are streamlined for the City.
“Fast and reliable transit is a priority in building toward a vibrant future for our city. Given the size and complexity of Toronto’s transit expansion portfolio, we’re searching for a leader who will put in place a team that can effectively coordinate projects among City divisions and agencies, and work closely with other orders of government to best serve our residents,” said City Manager Chris Murray.
The move could open opportunities for Bombardier and the City of Thunder Bay. There are two contracts ongoing right now at Bombardier’s Thunder Bay Plant.
Incoming Mayor Bill Mauro says that he plans to work with both Mayor Tory and Premier Ford on this issue.
NETNEWSLEDGER: What would you do as Mayor of Thunder Bay to ensure the future of the jobs at the Bombardier plant here in Thunder Bay?
Bill Mauro: In 1995, the provincial Conservative government announced that they would not be funding the purchase of mass transit vehicles in Ontario. The cities of Toronto and Ottawa purchase mass transit vehicles in Ontario. They rely on funding from Provincial and Federal levels of Government to be able to afford these purchases. In 2003, the Liberal government, once elected in Ontario began providing financial assistance to Toronto in the Billions of dollars. Employment levels, which had dipped as low as 250 in 2003 increased to as high as 1500. I fought for and achieved a Canadian Content policy that ensured that work related to these contracts would occur in Ontario. Some of the contracts I lobbied for had not been budgeted for in Ontario. To see this plant continue to thrive, we will need to see the provincial assistance continue and the City of Toronto continue, as the purchaser, to honour and support the Canadian content policies in place and to negotiate future contracts with Bombardier Thunder Bay. The Mayor will have to work with both the Premier on funding and the Mayor of Toronto on Canadian Content to see this work continue here.
Toronto Seeks Expansion
Over the next decade, the City will be working closely with Metrolinx to implement the SmartTrack Stations Program and the GO Expansion Program, while continuing to advance other priority transit expansion projects including the Relief Line, the Bloor-Danforth subway extension into Scarborough, the Eglinton East LRT, the Eglinton West LRT, and the Waterfront Transit Network.