Mike Sullivan is onside with Karen Stintz’s radical plan to overhaul transit in Toronto. The plan would bring much-needed improvements to transit in Weston, including extra stops and electrification of the ARL and an LRT on Jane.
Sullivan wrote an open letter to all members of City Council and several members of the Provincial Parliament. It reads:
Dear Councillor Stintz:
I am writing to lend my support to your OneCity Transit Plan and to urge you and your colleagues on Toronto City Council to take the necessary steps to bring this bold but necessary plan to deal with Toronto`s gridlock to fruition. I would like to offer my assistance as a Member of Parliament for York South-Weston – a federal constituency within the City of Toronto – in helping to secure the necessary federal funds that are needed to bring this plan into reality.
There is no argument whatsoever that Toronto needs considerable investment in public transit infrastructure in order to relieve traffic congestion, improve economic productivity, and improve the quality of life of our residents and neighbourhoods. You are all familiar with the Toronto Board of Trade estimates of the costs to Toronto’s economy as a result of traffic gridlock in our city.
Your plan reveals the necessity of investment by other levels of government in order to solve Toronto’s traffic woes. Your formula of one-third funding from Toronto taxpayers (a significant commitment at $10 billion), and one-third each from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada is, in my view, very reasonable. If we have learned anything from the previous federal infrastructure program is the necessity of federal funding in order to enable cities like Toronto to build their needed transit projects.
That is why we in the federal NDP have called for the establishment of a National Public Transit Strategy – a joint municipal-provincial-federal strategy that would develop broad principles to guide public investment into needed public transit infrastructure and assure stable, sustainable funding to enable these projects.
Lastly, I cannot help but notice your plan’s proposal to electrify the Air-Rail Link from Pearson Airport to Union Station, plus add more stops on its route. Bravo! This line is in my riding, and it makes so much sense to the community I represent that this line be electrified to avoid harmful diesel exhaust and to be accessible to the over 300,000 residents living in that corridor.
Please let me know how I and my NDP colleagues can be of assistance to you and Toronto City Council in bringing this plan into fruition.