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.

Mt Dennis bank, daycare to be expropriated

In Mount Dennis, the Bank of Nova Scotia and a daycare will be expropriated to make room for the Eglinton LRT, according to Frances Nunziata.

The westernmost station will be at Weston and Eglinton, no longer Jane and Eglinton, and it will be in large measure underground. Previous plans had called for the expropriation and demolition of more buildings; now only two will be required.

Nunziata says, that things

are still very preliminary at this point, but the City will be requiring that the daycare be relocated within the community and in close proximity to where it is now, so that it doesn’t cause unnecessary strain or inconvenience for those that use the services. They will also be working with the Bank of Nova Scotia to find a suitable place within the community.