Scarborough-Guildwood byelection: Candidates, and their leaders, talk subways

News Jul 15, 2013 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

In Scarborough-Guildwood last week, hopes for a subway seemed to swallow everything else.

The proposed route of the Bloor-Danforth extension supported by Liberal candidate Mitzie Hunter and Progressive Conservative Ken Kirupa does not run through the riding holding its provincial byelection on Aug. 1.

It would be built from Kennedy Station and travel under McCowan Road beyond the riding’s western boundary of Bellamy Road North. The planned light-rail line it would replace goes through Scarborough-Guildwood’s northwest corner, including a stop at the Progress Campus of Centennial College.

Opening his campaign office last Thursday, July 11, Kirupa delivered a speech in which he made no promises except “to fight day and night at Queen’s Park to bring subways to Scarborough,” which he said is what people in the riding want.

“I too am trying to get home after a long work day,” and getting stuck in traffic, said Kirupa, a realtor who added any talk from the Liberal MPPs about subways during the byelection is a trick.

“You can just be assured they are trying to buy your votes.”

Though Kirupa also told a crowd of supporters Hunter and his New Democratic opponent Adam Giambrone “want light-rail transit,” Hunter, canvassing on Friday, said she supports the Scarborough subway extension.

“I support subways to get Scarborough moving,” said Hunter. “I am fighting to make that voice stronger and louder at Queen’s Park.”

Hunter is on leave from her CEO job at Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, a non-profit group which supported The Big Move and the provincial Metrolinx agency’s plans for an expanded regional transportation system including a network of light-rail lines.

Last week, Hunter said CivicAction advocated for improved transit “in general, not a specific mode.”

Though the Liberals have already pledged to spend more on transit than any other Ontario government since the 1960s - including surface light-rail lines along Sheppard and Eglinton avenues in Scarborough as well conversion of the aging Scarborough Rapid Transit system - a subway replacing the Scarborough RT is the best investment for the long term, Hunter said.

Giambrone, a former chairperson of the TTC and a member of the Metrolinx board when it approved the plan, said subways should be built where it makes sense to build them.

Visiting the East Scarborough Storefront with Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath last Thursday, Giambrone said if the Bloor-Danforth extension is built “the people here in Scarborough-Guildwood are still going to be on a bus.”

He wasn’t prepared to say, however, that there could be no justification for building the extension. “I’ve never seen the study,” Giambrone said. “When I was at the TTC I always liked to base my decisions on actual information.”

People in Scarborough sit and listen to debates about subways and light rail, but “they’d actually like to see a result,” argued Giambrone, who said building a subway will take much longer than the already-approved LRT line, with environmental assessment alone taking at least two years.

“If the province is serious, they could start funding some of those studies” preparing the way for a subway; otherwise, “talk is cheap,” he said.

People in Scarborough-Guildwood “are desperate for transit improvements sooner rather than later, and so it’s not good enough to wait 10 or 15 years for transit improvements,” Horwath said, suggesting the light rail line can be built much sooner than a subway.

Subways must also be funded in a way “everyday folks” can support, or else paying for transit expansion will remain a political football and nothing will happen, she said.

Hudak, speaking at Kirupa’s office, warned against light-rail projects - “Who wants to see that mess on St. Clair (Avenue) repeated up here in Scarborough?” he asked - and made it clear his party doesn’t support “new revenue tools” to pay for subways.

The party maintains it will raise fees or taxes to pay for subways only as a last resort, and that it can build subways by “balancing the books” and cutting waste at Queen’s Park.

Asked how long those subway projects would take, considering three approved LRT lines in Scarborough might be cancelled as a consequence, Hudak didn’t try to guess. “That’s why we need to change the government so we can get at it,” he said.

The Tory platform introduced this spring calls for the province to take over and run Toronto’s new subways after it builds them, along with existing subways and light rail, the Don Valley Parkway and the Allen and Gardiner expressways.

This is because we need to approach traffic gridlock on a regional basis, instead of having “all kinds of chefs arguing with each other in the kitchen,” Hudak said.

Scarborough-Guildwood Green candidate Nick Leeson said his party and himself are “on board” for light rail in Scarborough.

“Light rail is proven to be cost-effective,” said Leeson, adding while there’s no guarantee a Scarborough subway can be built, the funding and plan for LRT are already in place.

“We can get this going and we can get this going now.”

Leeson acknowledged a wave of support for a subway among area residents, but argued “the information they’ve been given doesn’t show the whole story.”

John McKay, the riding’s Liberal MP, said he welcomes talks between the city and province on a subway extension.

In a release last week, McKay credited Hunter as well as Scarborough’s councillors and its Liberal MPPs with making the issue of a Scarborough subway “central to public debate,” adding many of his constituents are frustrated with local bus service and the Scarborough RT.

Scarborough-Guildwood byelection: Candidates, and their leaders, talk subways

News Jul 15, 2013 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

In Scarborough-Guildwood last week, hopes for a subway seemed to swallow everything else.

The proposed route of the Bloor-Danforth extension supported by Liberal candidate Mitzie Hunter and Progressive Conservative Ken Kirupa does not run through the riding holding its provincial byelection on Aug. 1.

It would be built from Kennedy Station and travel under McCowan Road beyond the riding’s western boundary of Bellamy Road North. The planned light-rail line it would replace goes through Scarborough-Guildwood’s northwest corner, including a stop at the Progress Campus of Centennial College.

Opening his campaign office last Thursday, July 11, Kirupa delivered a speech in which he made no promises except “to fight day and night at Queen’s Park to bring subways to Scarborough,” which he said is what people in the riding want.

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“I too am trying to get home after a long work day,” and getting stuck in traffic, said Kirupa, a realtor who added any talk from the Liberal MPPs about subways during the byelection is a trick.

“You can just be assured they are trying to buy your votes.”

Though Kirupa also told a crowd of supporters Hunter and his New Democratic opponent Adam Giambrone “want light-rail transit,” Hunter, canvassing on Friday, said she supports the Scarborough subway extension.

“I support subways to get Scarborough moving,” said Hunter. “I am fighting to make that voice stronger and louder at Queen’s Park.”

Hunter is on leave from her CEO job at Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, a non-profit group which supported The Big Move and the provincial Metrolinx agency’s plans for an expanded regional transportation system including a network of light-rail lines.

Last week, Hunter said CivicAction advocated for improved transit “in general, not a specific mode.”

Though the Liberals have already pledged to spend more on transit than any other Ontario government since the 1960s - including surface light-rail lines along Sheppard and Eglinton avenues in Scarborough as well conversion of the aging Scarborough Rapid Transit system - a subway replacing the Scarborough RT is the best investment for the long term, Hunter said.

Giambrone, a former chairperson of the TTC and a member of the Metrolinx board when it approved the plan, said subways should be built where it makes sense to build them.

Visiting the East Scarborough Storefront with Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath last Thursday, Giambrone said if the Bloor-Danforth extension is built “the people here in Scarborough-Guildwood are still going to be on a bus.”

He wasn’t prepared to say, however, that there could be no justification for building the extension. “I’ve never seen the study,” Giambrone said. “When I was at the TTC I always liked to base my decisions on actual information.”

People in Scarborough sit and listen to debates about subways and light rail, but “they’d actually like to see a result,” argued Giambrone, who said building a subway will take much longer than the already-approved LRT line, with environmental assessment alone taking at least two years.

“If the province is serious, they could start funding some of those studies” preparing the way for a subway; otherwise, “talk is cheap,” he said.

People in Scarborough-Guildwood “are desperate for transit improvements sooner rather than later, and so it’s not good enough to wait 10 or 15 years for transit improvements,” Horwath said, suggesting the light rail line can be built much sooner than a subway.

Subways must also be funded in a way “everyday folks” can support, or else paying for transit expansion will remain a political football and nothing will happen, she said.

Hudak, speaking at Kirupa’s office, warned against light-rail projects - “Who wants to see that mess on St. Clair (Avenue) repeated up here in Scarborough?” he asked - and made it clear his party doesn’t support “new revenue tools” to pay for subways.

The party maintains it will raise fees or taxes to pay for subways only as a last resort, and that it can build subways by “balancing the books” and cutting waste at Queen’s Park.

Asked how long those subway projects would take, considering three approved LRT lines in Scarborough might be cancelled as a consequence, Hudak didn’t try to guess. “That’s why we need to change the government so we can get at it,” he said.

The Tory platform introduced this spring calls for the province to take over and run Toronto’s new subways after it builds them, along with existing subways and light rail, the Don Valley Parkway and the Allen and Gardiner expressways.

This is because we need to approach traffic gridlock on a regional basis, instead of having “all kinds of chefs arguing with each other in the kitchen,” Hudak said.

Scarborough-Guildwood Green candidate Nick Leeson said his party and himself are “on board” for light rail in Scarborough.

“Light rail is proven to be cost-effective,” said Leeson, adding while there’s no guarantee a Scarborough subway can be built, the funding and plan for LRT are already in place.

“We can get this going and we can get this going now.”

Leeson acknowledged a wave of support for a subway among area residents, but argued “the information they’ve been given doesn’t show the whole story.”

John McKay, the riding’s Liberal MP, said he welcomes talks between the city and province on a subway extension.

In a release last week, McKay credited Hunter as well as Scarborough’s councillors and its Liberal MPPs with making the issue of a Scarborough subway “central to public debate,” adding many of his constituents are frustrated with local bus service and the Scarborough RT.

Scarborough-Guildwood byelection: Candidates, and their leaders, talk subways

News Jul 15, 2013 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

In Scarborough-Guildwood last week, hopes for a subway seemed to swallow everything else.

The proposed route of the Bloor-Danforth extension supported by Liberal candidate Mitzie Hunter and Progressive Conservative Ken Kirupa does not run through the riding holding its provincial byelection on Aug. 1.

It would be built from Kennedy Station and travel under McCowan Road beyond the riding’s western boundary of Bellamy Road North. The planned light-rail line it would replace goes through Scarborough-Guildwood’s northwest corner, including a stop at the Progress Campus of Centennial College.

Opening his campaign office last Thursday, July 11, Kirupa delivered a speech in which he made no promises except “to fight day and night at Queen’s Park to bring subways to Scarborough,” which he said is what people in the riding want.

Related Content

“I too am trying to get home after a long work day,” and getting stuck in traffic, said Kirupa, a realtor who added any talk from the Liberal MPPs about subways during the byelection is a trick.

“You can just be assured they are trying to buy your votes.”

Though Kirupa also told a crowd of supporters Hunter and his New Democratic opponent Adam Giambrone “want light-rail transit,” Hunter, canvassing on Friday, said she supports the Scarborough subway extension.

“I support subways to get Scarborough moving,” said Hunter. “I am fighting to make that voice stronger and louder at Queen’s Park.”

Hunter is on leave from her CEO job at Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, a non-profit group which supported The Big Move and the provincial Metrolinx agency’s plans for an expanded regional transportation system including a network of light-rail lines.

Last week, Hunter said CivicAction advocated for improved transit “in general, not a specific mode.”

Though the Liberals have already pledged to spend more on transit than any other Ontario government since the 1960s - including surface light-rail lines along Sheppard and Eglinton avenues in Scarborough as well conversion of the aging Scarborough Rapid Transit system - a subway replacing the Scarborough RT is the best investment for the long term, Hunter said.

Giambrone, a former chairperson of the TTC and a member of the Metrolinx board when it approved the plan, said subways should be built where it makes sense to build them.

Visiting the East Scarborough Storefront with Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath last Thursday, Giambrone said if the Bloor-Danforth extension is built “the people here in Scarborough-Guildwood are still going to be on a bus.”

He wasn’t prepared to say, however, that there could be no justification for building the extension. “I’ve never seen the study,” Giambrone said. “When I was at the TTC I always liked to base my decisions on actual information.”

People in Scarborough sit and listen to debates about subways and light rail, but “they’d actually like to see a result,” argued Giambrone, who said building a subway will take much longer than the already-approved LRT line, with environmental assessment alone taking at least two years.

“If the province is serious, they could start funding some of those studies” preparing the way for a subway; otherwise, “talk is cheap,” he said.

People in Scarborough-Guildwood “are desperate for transit improvements sooner rather than later, and so it’s not good enough to wait 10 or 15 years for transit improvements,” Horwath said, suggesting the light rail line can be built much sooner than a subway.

Subways must also be funded in a way “everyday folks” can support, or else paying for transit expansion will remain a political football and nothing will happen, she said.

Hudak, speaking at Kirupa’s office, warned against light-rail projects - “Who wants to see that mess on St. Clair (Avenue) repeated up here in Scarborough?” he asked - and made it clear his party doesn’t support “new revenue tools” to pay for subways.

The party maintains it will raise fees or taxes to pay for subways only as a last resort, and that it can build subways by “balancing the books” and cutting waste at Queen’s Park.

Asked how long those subway projects would take, considering three approved LRT lines in Scarborough might be cancelled as a consequence, Hudak didn’t try to guess. “That’s why we need to change the government so we can get at it,” he said.

The Tory platform introduced this spring calls for the province to take over and run Toronto’s new subways after it builds them, along with existing subways and light rail, the Don Valley Parkway and the Allen and Gardiner expressways.

This is because we need to approach traffic gridlock on a regional basis, instead of having “all kinds of chefs arguing with each other in the kitchen,” Hudak said.

Scarborough-Guildwood Green candidate Nick Leeson said his party and himself are “on board” for light rail in Scarborough.

“Light rail is proven to be cost-effective,” said Leeson, adding while there’s no guarantee a Scarborough subway can be built, the funding and plan for LRT are already in place.

“We can get this going and we can get this going now.”

Leeson acknowledged a wave of support for a subway among area residents, but argued “the information they’ve been given doesn’t show the whole story.”

John McKay, the riding’s Liberal MP, said he welcomes talks between the city and province on a subway extension.

In a release last week, McKay credited Hunter as well as Scarborough’s councillors and its Liberal MPPs with making the issue of a Scarborough subway “central to public debate,” adding many of his constituents are frustrated with local bus service and the Scarborough RT.