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Furious Ford goes on attack against streetcars

2012/03/22

Mayor Rob Ford broke his silence in the second day of a two-day City Hall showdown over transit on Sheppard Ave., with a furious rant against streetcars, warning that the LRT will amount to a boondoggle of epic proportions.

“The people of the city have spoken loud and clear. They want subways folks. They want subways, subways, subways,” said Ford, urging city councillors to wait for the outcome of the provincial and federal budgets to determine whether LRT funding will actually surface.

“People hate the St. Clair. They hate these streetcars. You can call them what they want. People want subways folks. They want subways, subways. They don’t want these damned streetcars blocking up our city,” shouted the mayor.

TTC chair Karen Stintz, however, had argued earlier against waiting for senior governments.

Urging councillors against supporting a motion to defer the decision on building subways or LRT on Sheppard, she said, “Today we have a better opportunity of locking in our funding for the lines the province has said it wants to fund.”

Earlier Councillor Michael Del Grande, the city’s budget chief, failed in his bid to have a motion for a non-residential parking tax rescinded.

The tax would raise $100 million, Del Grande said Wednesday. It was being supported by the mayor’s conservative allies on council — a shocking development giving their staunch rejection of taxes.

But Ford himself, never spoke to the issue.

Left-leaning Councillor Joe Mihevc said it was too late to put the issue back under wraps.

“You can’t have a city that cuts back on taxes and tries to build expensive infrastructure like subways. The two brands are hitting against each other. It’s a difficult moment for (the mayor),” he told reporters.

He said the councillors that supported the parking tax were embarrassed by it.

“They’ve probably got some negative feedback on it or they’ve realized the mayor will not be in support of a motion his key budget chair has put forth. However, the horse has left the barn,” said Mihevc.

Last month council voted against the mayor’s subway vision, confirming a plan to build LRT on Finch Ave. West and to keep the Eglinton LRT above ground east of Laird Ave.

The majority of support for LRT has so far sidelined Ford’s subway election agenda.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    2012/03/22 12:16 pm

    Yeah, we’re supposed to get a Streetcar here in Atlanta as well. I don’t know, they say it spruces it up a little, and it might do that. But, what will it do for traffic? Not much, & it might make it worse.

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