Dear Premier McGuinty,
I am deeply disappointed by your recent decision to delay previously promised funding for the Transit City Light Rail plan. Delaying funding now will only compound Toronto's severe transportation woes, and could very well kill this vital project altogether. It would be most unfortunate if your lasting legacy was undoing all the work and collaboration that has already gone into developing this plan.
In December 2009, as construction began on the Sheppard East line, Minister Bradley was quoted as reaffirming your government's commitment to quickly building a comprehensive public transit network in Toronto. He said, "By providing more convenient, affordable, faster rides on public transit, we are tackling congestion, creating jobs, stimulating the economy and improving the air we breathe." He was corrrect: Transit City will allow Torontonians to make a contribution to the critical cause of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, provide desperately needed transit access to Toronto's inner suburbs, and stimulate the economy with thousands of jobs.
Although the province's budget deficit is unfortunate, public transit funding is not the cause of this deficit, and cutting this funding is not the solution. Nothing has changed since Minister Bradley's statement last December.
As a long-time Liberal supporter, I am also concerned about the impact of this about-face on your government's prospects for re-election. If another party campaigns on a promise to restore Transit City funding in the next election, I fear that I will have to give them my vote. I cannot think of another issue that is more important than this one.
I ask you to please deliver on your promise and return the $4 billion to the Transit City budget to keep this plan on track. Transit City is too vital to the health of our city to be put on hold.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I just wrote the Premier in support of restoring provincial funding for Transit City. Please take action to help, too. Here is what I wrote.