In order to fund her government’s ambitious $29-billion transit and infrastructure plan, Kathleen Wynne is prepared to borrow up to $7-billion, if needed, in order to avoid charging Ontarians.
Another $2.5-billion would come from the federal government, through its Building Canada Plan — if, in fact, that money is granted to the province.
Two-thirds of the 10-year plan will be paid for in the ways Ms. Wynne has previously announced — by shifting gas taxes towards transit and repurposing revenues from existing HST from gas, resulting in $1.2-billion annually.
Metrolinx, the provincial agency tasked with improving public transit in greater Toronto, held a board meeting at its headquarters on Bay Street Thursday. Unfortunately for transit users frustrated with overcrowded streetcars and buses, relief appears to be a number of years away.
REGIONAL EXPRESS RAIL
The preliminary concept for Regional Express Rail would see electrification to each of Go Transit’s seven corridors in the GTHA, making trips 10-25% quicker and improving the frequency to as little as 15 minutes apart.
John Tory reiterated his “guarantee” in a Wednesday radio interview that property taxes will not go up in order to finance his SmartTrack line, adding that “there will be hell to pay” if the upper levels of government don’t pitch in two thirds of his $8-billion scheme.
CBC Metro Morning host Matt Galloway grilled Mr. Tory on his funding plan for the 53-kilometre transit line that he bills as a “surface subway” and that will largely be built on an existing rail corridor. He says he can complete it in seven years.
TORONTO — The governing Liberals are promising to spend $29 billion over the next decade for transit and transportation infrastructure in Ontario.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says up to $15 billion of the money will be available for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
She says the rest will be available to the rest of the province.
Wynne says they’ll fund it by raising new money, re-directing existing revenues and debt financing, including green bonds.
She wouldn’t say how they’ll raise new revenue, saying the details will be in the upcoming budget.
On Thursday, mayoral candidate John Tory joined the parade of politicians promising jobs by throwing his support behind a developer’s plan for a new business hub in the East Don Lands, similar to London’s Canary Wharf.
Mr. Tory’s “plan to create 70,000 jobs” is largely that put forward by First Gulf Corporation to turn the former Unilever lands into 15-million square feet of office space, retail and residential developments.
CALGARY – Enbridge Inc. said it will idle Line 9 if an application to reverse and expand the pipeline that runs between southern Ontario and Montreal is rejected by the National Energy Board.
Canada’s No. 1 pipeline company is seeking permission to switch the flow and expand the 1970s-era conduit to send light and heavy oils from Alberta and North Dakota’s Bakken region to refineries in Montreal and Quebec City.
A report from the city manager of Toronto says that if city council supports a new casino in the downtown core or at Exhibition Place that there should be a greater emphasis placed on convention space and less on gambling space than OLG’s initial recommendation.
Mayoral candidate Doug Ford has revealed his transit plan for Toronto, and it’s exactly the same as the one his brother released earlier this month, except for the addition of a few spelling mistakes.
The transit map on Doug Ford’s website misspelled three station names. There is an extra “g” in Eglinton and Eglinton West and Don Mills is listed as “Done Mills.” The mayoral candidate was ridiculed over the errors by Toronto voters on social media Friday morning.
TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne took steps Thursday to avoid a possible spring election by announcing the Liberal government would not raise taxes on middle-income earners to fund public transit.
“So I just want to be clear, we’re taking those potential revenue tools off the table: increase in HST, increase in gas tax, increases in personal income tax for middle-income families,” Wynne said at a campaign-style stop at a home in mid-Toronto.