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Suburbs Win Chance For Subway Appeal

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Five Toronto suburbs — Etobicoke, Scarboro, Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch — yesterday won application to appeal to the Supreme Court of Ontario against construction of the $200,000,000 Bloor subway.

Chief Justice Porter and Messrs. Justice MacKay and Roach unanimously allowed the application for leave to appeal after a 90-minute hearing.

“We all feel there is a substantial point of law involved here”, Chief Justice Porter said. The court directed the appeal be heard sometime before Oct. 20. Costs covering the application and the actual appeal will be awarded at the next hearing.

The suburbs, which sought to set aside the Ontario Municipal Board’s go-ahead to Metro on the subway, contended:

“The OMB erred in holding the Metro could expend any money for extending the rapid transit system of the TTC not provided for either out of unappropriated surplus moneys, or the proceeds of the issue of debentures.

“Nothing in the OMB Act gives the board any jurisdiction to confer upon any municipal corporation power which the council of that corporation does not otherwise possess.”

Their argument also claimed that the board’s go-ahead gave Metro power to bind future councils to raising money through taxation to pay for the subway.

No decision or order could legally bind councils to this, they said, except as an incident in the payment of debt consequent upon the use of debentures.

P.J. Bolsby, appearing for Long Branch Council, argued that only the Toronto Transit Commission, and not Metro Council could build the subway.

H.E. Manning, appearing for for [sic] the other suburbs, told the court: “When Metro embarks on this, it is committed to something from which it cannot escape. All taxpayers in the Metro area will have to pay for it — and it doesn’t matter where they live or whether they get any benefit out of the subway — they will have to pay.”

A.P.G. Joy, Metro’s solicitor, replied that the OMB did not order any specific amount to be raised each year, but specified only the amounts required.

“The board has only authorized Metro to go ahead with the project — it has not ordered it”, he said.

“Metro can halt this project any time it likes. But this is such an important case that delay (in the courts at this stage) will have great significance.”

In their notice of application to the court, the five suburbs asked:

“Did the OMB have power to impose as a condition of its approval that annual sums of moneys required to meet the corporation’s share of the cost not provided for by the issue of debentures be included in the annual estimates adopted by Metro for the years 1959 to 1968, and that they be included in the annual levy made by Metro?

“Can the OMB authorize the financing of any construction by Metro otherwise than out of surplus moneys by raising moneys without issuing debentures to cover the amount?”

Cost of the Bloor-University subway will be increased if a prolonged suburban-Metro court battle develops over the project, TTC authorities said last night.

An 18-month delay in starting the subway has been predicted if five suburban municipalities continue with their objections through the Ontario Appeal Court and on to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Irving Fairty, chief counsel for the TTC< said that for each day the subway is not begin, $1,000 will be added to the estimated $200,000,000 cost.

On the basis of 18 months this will add up to more [sic] than $550,000.

Metro solicitor C. Frank Moore said he was hoping for a November date for the hearing by the Ontario Appeal Court.

“At least we know the suburbs have wiped out any subway construction for this year”, said Mr. Moore.

TTC Chairman Lamport called upon the five suburbs to reconsider their stand on the basis of the harm that would result from a prolonged legal battle. He said the subway would be the key project to relieve unemployment in the Metro area this winter.

“It is too bad that Toronto has to dance to the tune of small suburban municipalities”, said Mayor Phillips. Immediate intervention by the province to restrain the suburbs was suggested by Alderman Donald Summerville.