Keele Subway Station Toronto

Morning Brew: opposition to wind turbines in Scarborough, poll shows residents not in favour of road tolls and landed immigrant voting, TTC Customer Service Panel launches feedback website, the Globe calls for a broadening of election issues

Residents of the Scarborough Bluffs remain vocal in their opposition to a proposed off-shore wind turbine project that would see windmills placed on Lake Ontario. Citing health concerns and potential decreases in property value, local councillors Paul Ainslie and Brian Ashton have put forward a motion that proposes a moratorium on wind-power development in Ontario. Right or wrong, I can understand the NIMBYism, but even if the Ontario-wide motion is mostly symbolic, it seems over the top.

The Star has released results from a poll about transit issues that should be of some interest to the mayoral candidates. Chief among the findings is that 68 per cent of GTA residents oppose road tolls. But, interestingly, opposition is less pronounced in the city of Toronto proper, where 40 per cent of the sample indicated some level of support for $5 tolls on highways like the DVP and the Gardiner Expressway. Other stats from the poll: 94 per cent of residents support building more subway routes around the city, while 58 per cent of people support the addition of bike lanes on major streets.

Another key question on this poll was whether or not residents supported the idea of extending city voting rights to landed immigrants. Well, the verdict is in: 64 per cent oppose the idea. To be honest, I find this somewhat surprising. Does one really need to be a Canadian citizen to vote on municipal issues? It's not as though landed immigrants (now referred to as Permanent Residents) haven't resided here from quite some time.

The TTC's Customer Service Advisory Panel has started to solicit feedback from the public with the launch of a website that allows riders 500 words to complain, compliment (unlikely), and offer whatever suggestions they have to the troubled transit provider. Over and above the website, the chair of the panel, Steve O'Brien, will be on hand at subway stations over the next few weeks to meet and greet riders. First up are Bloor-Yonge Station on April 28 (11:30-12:30 and 4:30-5:30) and Kennedy Station on April 29 (4:30-5:30).

But before getting too caught up in transit-related issues, we might all want to take the Globe's advice and begin to broaden the issues under discussion in this mayoral race. Bemoaning the "numbing focus on the inadequacies of public transit and the granular logistics of bicycle lanes," the paper suggests a number of other issues that it thinks should be under discussion. Some highlights: can Toronto's relative escape from the financial crisis allow the city to become an international business capital? How can we address the problem of poverty in the inner suburbs? And why is it that wealthy immigrants to choose to live outside the city proper?

Photo: "Keele Station" by Sevennnine, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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