Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak told members of Toronto’s Board of Trade that if elected, he would support funding for subway expansion — but not until his government was able to “root out waste” at the provincial level.
“Before we can go ask taxpayers for one more dollar, we need to demonstrate we have fixed the current system and are just as responsible with their money as they are,” said Hudak at the lunch-time meeting of the Toronto Board of Trade.
“The first step in financing these projects is to root out the waste and strive to find efficiencies and savings in every facet of government.”
Hudak made the comments after speaking about a massive plan for improving and expanding public transit infrastructure in Toronto.
He said, first, he would upload control of subways and the LRT to GO Transit and Metrolinx — and also bring regional highways under Metrolinx’s control.
And he said his government would support building subways — notably, a Yonge subway extension into York Region, and an east-west corridor “treating Scarborough as a full citizen of Toronto.”
In his speech, Hudak described Toronto as a city on the verge of decline. He said the city has become less attractive to business, and less attractive to immigrants.
“The jobs aren’t here the way they once were, the promise isn’t here as it once was,” said Hudak. “Toronto can no longer provide the future they hope for.”
He said that government must also promote the financial sector in Toronto.
Hudak said we must “champion more free trade — open up new markets for our financial sector — and let no obstacle stand in the way of a single national securities regulator that is housed here.”