Premier Ford – More Transit Quickly – Statement on Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership

Premier Doug Ford at Resolute Forest Products in Thunder Bay
Premier Doug Ford at Resolute Forest Products in Thunder Bay

TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on Toronto City Council’s vote to support Ontario’s historic transit expansion plan for the people of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA):

“I made a commitment to the people of Ontario: to build more transit quickly, to reduce gridlock, boost economic growth and get people to work and home to their loved ones easier, safer, and faster. I am proud that Toronto City Council voted to fully support our government’s proposed Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership to advance Ontario’s priority subway expansion program, including our signature project the Ontario Line.

In April 2019, Ontario took the lead in making the single largest investment in new subway builds and extensions in Canadian history. We committed to delivering a $28.5 billion program of four key priority transit projects, including the Yonge North Subway Extension, the Eglinton West Crosstown Extension, an improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, and the all-new Ontario Line.

Our comprehensive program of priority subway projects will dramatically improve connectivity across the GTHA while also delivering significant relief to critical congestion on the Yonge Subway Line and at Union Station. The people of Ontario deserve rapid, world-class transit services and our plan will deliver exactly that.

I applaud the continued efforts of Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, Associate Minister Kinga Surma, as well as provincial and city staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver on this plan. I also want to thank Michael Lindsay, our Special Advisor, for his expertise. I look forward to continuing our important work with Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council as part of the new Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership.

As part of our Partnership, both levels of government acknowledge that the current approach to building transit in Toronto must be improved. Mayor Tory deserves credit for his efforts to streamline and expedite project delivery, but more needs to be done. We look forward to further conversations with the City on how best we work together to accelerate project construction to see these priority projects built quickly and on schedule.

Following today’s City Council endorsement, two levels of government are aligned on the fact that transit urgently needs to be built for the people of the region. We welcome funding that the federal government has made available for Toronto and the region under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, and we welcome reports that funds will be applied to the projects that have been nominated by the Province and City earlier this year, including the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, the Ontario Line, and the Yonge North Subway Extension.

But to genuinely embrace this historic opportunity to take a massive leap forward in delivering transit for the region we need Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to commit to increasing their contribution and funding their fair share of the entirety of our subways program. The transformative and lasting benefits to transit riders, the regional economy, and the environment associated with these projects is undeniable and we believe it to be of national importance.

Working together with all three levels of government, we will get shovels in the ground quickly to meet our ambitious timelines and deliver on our vision for a fast, reliable and commuter-friendly transit network for the people of Ontario.”

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