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Truncated Transit City is 'wrong,' Miller says

Mayor refuses to accept province’s plans as Metrolinx prepares to release proposal on which projects will go ahead

By Anna Mehler Paperny
and Karen Howlett

The intergovernmental battle of rhetoric over Transit City continues to rage, with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty calling for conciliation and Toronto Mayor David Miller insisting the province’s plans remain unacceptable for Torontonians.

The war of words comes as Metrolinx, a regional transit agency, puts forward its final proposal Wednesday on which major transit projects will get funding and when, and where that money will come from.

The new plan would see most of the four Transit City projects built over 10 years, in truncated form, until more funding comes through. Construction of light-rail transit along Sheppard and Eglinton Avenues would start immediately, and on the Scarborough and Finch lines in 2015.

Mr. Miller contends everything after 2015 may as well be unfunded because the promised money isn’t there yet, and that the province is effectively denying transit to inner suburbs that need it most. Metrolinx president Rob Prichard argued that’s not the case, and that Metrolinx is investing too much money up front not to make these projects a reality.

Mr. McGuinty said he had a “good conversation” with Mr. Miller on Monday.

“I told him specifically I really appreciate his passion and his commitment, and I don’t doubt his sincerity in terms of the approach that he’s taking, the representations he’s making,” he said. “But I also asked him not to doubt my sincerity in terms of the approach we are taking and the steps that we feel we’re obligated to make, given our circumstances.”