Toronto just got $9 billion to make our subway dreams come true
In a move that's as smart as it is generous, the federal and provincial governments have together pledged nearly $9 billion over the next ten years for priority transit projects in Toronto.
Hello, downtown relief line.
The infrastructure ministers for both Canada and Ontario announced during a press conference yesterday that they had signed a "bilateral agreement" that will see the feds pump more than $11.8 billion into infrastructure projects across the province.
Very proud to join my provincial colleague @Bob_Chiarelli to announce we have reached an agreement that will see the #GOC invest over $11.8B in Ontario #infra over the next 10 years. pic.twitter.com/0FOVn5SfjE— Amarjeet Sohi (@SohiAmarjeet) March 14, 2018
Toronto in particular will receive $4.9 billion of these federal funds, which is something we already knew would happen – but only if Ontario agreed to fund at least 33 per cent of the cost of eligible projects.
Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government has, for many months, been hesitant to commit the necessary funds, despite Mayor John Tory's pleading.
It came as a surprise (and relief) to some, then, when Ontario infrastructure minister Bob Chiarelli announced that the province is stepping up to the plate to nearly match Ottawa's investment.
Government exists to do the things none of us can do alone. Together, we are investing in the type of projects that make our communities livable and help them thrive, including public transit, green, and recreational infrastructure. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/I6HDlskLHC— Bob Chiarelli (@Bob_Chiarelli) March 14, 2018
Of the $10 billion in new money from the province (previously pledged funds aren't included in this sum,) about $4 billion will go directly to Toronto. The rest will be spent on transit projects in other municipalities.
"For the first time, we now have all three governments dedicated to building the Relief Line, SmartTrack, the Scarborough Subway Extension, waterfront transit, and the Eglinton East LRT," said Tory in a statement following the news conference.
"After years of delays and divisive debates, we are finally getting on with expanding our transit system, we are getting on with working together to build up our cities."
Today is good news for transit in Toronto and for all of our residents. The federal and provincial government are pledging almost $9 billion for our priority transit projects. pic.twitter.com/M5AvJ3rqlY— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 14, 2018
TTC Chair Josh Colle also praised both levels of government for allocating the funds on a per rider basis, "ensuring the TTC receives billions more than it would if allocated on a per capita basis."
"As I've said before, the TTC requires partnership, collaboration and innovation in order to be successful in delivering a world-class public transportation system that Toronto can be proud of," he said in a release of his own.
"This announcement is a huge step forward in achieving that goal."
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