May 18, 2010
Dear Marcus Gee,
Today I read with great interest your article titledSubway Tunnels in the Sky. The title itself is brilliant, but I was surprised to see that you – of all people, one of the most thorough and creative journalists out there – have attributed to me an error in judgment that I have not made.
Allow me to clearly explain the importance of my plan for the expansion of a subway system and the funding model that I introduced back in March.
Expanding Toronto’s subway system over the next decade is a vital first step to putting Toronto back on the world stage. Great cities have great subway systems, mediocre cities go for cheaper alternatives. An expanded subway system will reduce gridlock and traffic congestion; it will tie our neighbourhoods together and bring development to high priority areas that need it most; and it is a long-term strategy for economic growth in our city. It is vital that we build it out over the next decade.
But let me be very clear, it will be costly and can only be done by combining my four funding strategies:
1 Rush hour tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway. This will allow commuters the opportunity to contribute to expanding our subway system.
2 Working with the province to secure long-term provincial funding.
3 Working with private developers wanting development rights above subway stations and having them share in the cost of building subway stations.
4 Creating a subway bond that will allow the city to build out the subway quickly over the next decade.
I have never claimed that any one of these methods alone can fund the entire expansion, and I believe that anyone who claims that just one funding method can cover such a huge cost has not done their research.
Mr. Gee, please feel free to contact me if you ever need clarity on the policy platforms I launch. My telephone number is 416-964-5850.
Candidate for Mayor of Toronto