QUEEN’S PARK – The municipal elections have come and gone and I want to offer my thanks and congratulations to all of those who allowed their names to stand on the ballot, including mayor-elect Rob Ford and all the councillors here in Toronto.
In my riding of Thunder Bay–Atikokan, we’re home to one of only two mass transit manufacturing plants in all of Canada, that being the Bombardier plant in the Westfort part of my riding of Thunder Bay–Atikokan. There’s been a tremendous amount of good news there in the last little while: $3.5 billion worth of contracts, $1.6 million of that being provincial government funding, as well as about $9.5 billion that we’ve announced for infrastructure in Ontario.
Additionally, my riding has received about $10 million in gas funding from the province, committed to mass transit improvements. I know the city of Toronto has received somewhere in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.
My point is this: In 2009, along with the Premier, I announced a $1.2-billion streetcar contract at the Bombardier plant in my riding, $400-million-plus of that being provincial—no federal money in that. There has now been public speculation that this particular contract might be reviewed and potentially reconsidered.
It’s my hope that, as the GTA continues to expand and prepares for the Pan Am Games, the new mayor and council in the city of Toronto will have regard for the commitments made to mass transit by our government and that they will have regard for the abilities of the management and the Canadian Auto Workers in my riding at the Bombardier plant to deliver the finest mass transit vehicles in the world and to meet their contractual obligations.