Eglinton LRT to be run privately

NDP MPP for Davenport Jonah Schein revealed a sharp rightward shift by the McGuinty Liberals during Question Period in the Ontario Legislature today. The TTC will not be running the new LRT service along Eglinton through York South-Weston. Instead, a private company (presumably for profit) will be handed the task by Metrolinx. In fact, all the new lines under construction will be privately operated. This marks the beginning of the privatization of Toronto’s transportation – an alarming prospect to many. This month your reporter was charged the equivalent of $6.75 to travel two stops along the privately operated London Underground; not what you would call good value for money.

No doubt the Liberals will be soon telling us that the private sector can do things more efficiently. Unfortunately, the profits for private corporations will likely be coming out of taxpayers’ pockets in the form of higher fares and subsidies. The sale of the 407 in 1999 was a painful example of the dangers of privatizing public assets.

One is left to wonder if the Premier feels his minority government will fare better when aligned with the Tories rather than with the NDP. If so, look for similar announcements in the coming months. Watch the video of MPP Schein’s question here.

Ball in Premier’s Court

Councillor Nunziata’s motion that City Council recommend electrification and at least eight additional stops along the Airport Rail Link survived a two-thirds majority referral hurdle and then passed easily.

Who knows, perhaps Andrea Horvath or Tim Hudak can make it a condition of propping up the Provincial Liberal Government as they try to survive the Budget vote. Stranger things can happen in minority government situations.

The ball is now in the Premer’s court. He’s on record as criticizing Tim Hudak for not respecting the will of Council. Now let’s see if he can take his own advice.

Update:

According to the Toronto Star, Metrolinx wasted no time in squelching any hopes for an early change from diesel to electric or additional stations along the way. No doubt Mike Sullivan will have some choice words at his Community Update Thursday April 12 at the Learning Enrichment Foundation, 1267 Weston Rd between 6:30 and 9pm.