They held a byelection in Scarborough this month. The subway won.
You might hear a man called Neethan Shan won, but the subway got more votes.
In Toronto, some people believe governments do nothing but fill bags with money, which they throw into holes in the ground.
The point most candidates in Ward 42’s byelection made is Scarborough never gets its fair share from those bags.
And for a fair share, think subway to Scarborough Town Centre.
Sure, many wanted more than that, but Scarborough’s one-stop subway extension has grown to be what matters most.
Scarborough’s councillors, MPPs, and Mayor John Tory have staked so much on the subway, so many times, it just must happen.
It’s become the area’s main goal.
So, on the night of the byelection, Tory made it clear Shan’s victory was also the subway’s.
“The voters in Ward 42 have sent a strong message that they want a councillor who supports the Scarborough subway extension,” he said, pledging “to push ahead on the project that the people of Scarborough have voted for time and time again.”
These are anxious months for the subway. No matter how many votes it wins, whenever Josh Matlow, a Scarborough subway-hater, goes on television, or the Toronto Star trash-talks it, the subway is insecure.
A third-party cost review, long delayed, comes out this year. There’s fear in Scarborough about that.
A new group, ConnectScarborough, has given out flyers at Scarborough Town Centre since January, signing people to a pro-subway petition it will give councillors when cost estimates are public.
In a Valentine’s Day release, Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, born from a grassroots campaign to revitalize
Scarborough on many fronts, announced its “strategic partnership” with ConnectScarborough.
Pressure for the subway must continue until construction actually starts, says SCRO’s interim chairperson Jennifer McKelvie.
The cost review also covers the Eglinton East light-rail line. That line can bring development and jobs back to East Scarborough, maybe break the back of poverty in five neighbourhoods.
Tory promised it. ConnectScarborough and SCRO say they support it. It’s “shovel ready.”
But it’s not a subway. It has no chance.