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Subway Appeals Lost, Suburban Leaders Talk Of Supreme Court Bid

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Appeals against the Ontario Municipal Board’s order permitting Metropolitan Toronto to finance an east-west subway by imposing capital levies for the next 10 years were dismissed yesterday by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The appeals were launched by Scarboro, Etobicoke, Mimico and New Toronto. Long Branch launched a separate appeal. In a judgment of more than 30,000 words, Chief Justice Porter directed the appellants should pay costs incurred by Metro and the TTC.

The judgment observed that the appeals were restricted, by the order permitting appeal, to two questions of law:

Had the Ontario Municipal Board power to authorize a direct levy for capital purposes? “Could the Ontario Municipal Board authorize the financing of any contribution to the cost of construction to [sic] the said subway by the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, otherwise than out of surplus moneys, by raising moneys without issuing debentures to cover the amount thereof?”

The Court of Appeal ruled the answer to both questions was “Yes”.

The judgment cited Section 193(1) of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, which stated that Metro “may expend moneys for the purposes of an extension of the rapid transit system of the Toronto Transit Commission and may issue debentures therefore [sic]”. Section 194(1) stated that Metro might incur a debt or issue debentures, for certain purposes.

Thus, it was held that what appeared to be the most suitable method of financing could be chosen by Metro and approved by the municipal board. The appellants’ claim that the municipal board had no right to direct that such annual capital levies should be made was denied. The judgment held that Sections 67(1) and 70 of the Ontario Municipal Board Act contemplated a choice between methods of financing.

Bylaws which would permit the TTC to begin construction of the east-west subway have still to be passed by Metro Council.

Mayor W.A. Edwards of Mimico said he will press for an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, providing his town’s solicitors find grounds for it…

[The leaders of the other suburbs in question expressed similar views, while Metro Chairman Gardiner says that any such appeal]:

…will only result in a critical delay in developing an adequate transportation system for the Metro area, believed Mr. Gardiner.