New Democrat Leader, Andrea Horwath, has called for Toronto’s downtown relief subway to be given top transit priority in Ontario and for the province to increase corporate taxes in order to pay for it. NDP revealed its transit expansion plan on Wednesday in an attempt to maintain its support in the downtown Toronto seats against a push from Premier Kathleen Wynne and deflecting criticism that the NDP has no plan for building transit.
Making an announcement at the Queen’s Park, Ms. Horwath stated that “we need to put the downtown relief line at the top of the agenda.” She added that “it is time to get our priorities in order. It is time to get people moving.” According to Ms. Horwath, other priorities should include electrifying the new express train from Union Station to Pearson Airport, which will pass through two NDP-held ridings when it opens next year, and building transit in Scarborough. Moreover, Ms. Horwath advocated that the plan to extend the Yonge line to Richmond Hill should be suspended until the relief line is finished and can take pressure off the already over-crowded Yonge subway.
On the other hand, Ms. Wynne made an elaborate announcement last week revealing her plan to invest $29-billion over 10 years to build new subways, highways and express commuter trains. She planned to pay for it partly by diverting existing gas tax revenues and in part through new “revenue tools” to be unveiled in the budget.
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