Tuesday, October 02, 2007

GTA seeks $6B from Ottawa to help fund transit projects - Toronto Star

GTA seeks $6B from Ottawa to help fund transit projects
October 02, 2007

The Greater Toronto Transportation Authority has put in its bid for a share of the $13.8 billion federal budget surplus announced last week by Prime Minister Stephen Harper – a plea that echoes Premier Dalton McGuinty's demand for transit aid in a letter to Harper last week.

The GTTA wants Ottawa to cover one-third of the $17.5 billion cost of building 52 mass-transit projects in the Toronto region by 2020.

McGuinty, in announcing the MoveOntario plan in June, said Queen's Park would supply two-thirds of the needed funding, about $11.5 billion. But it would be up to Ottawa to provide the rest.

So far the federal government has failed to commit to the plan.

But "their one-third share is definitely doable," Halton Region chair Gary Carr told a GTTA board meeting last Friday. "This body expects an investment of $6 billion."

It's the least the federal government can do given that "the federal surplus actually comes from this area," said Mayor David Miller, who also sits on the GTTA.

Among its projects, MoveOntario will pay to build Toronto's $6 billion Transit City streetcar network.
I'm glad to see movement on this plan before the election. It shows whoever wins that we're serious about this plan. The federal government's response, on the other hand, should clearly show how serious they are.

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