Economy

Ontario Tories to unveil first budget since winning majority government

Ontario Tories to unveil first budget since winning majority government”

Mayor John Tory says he has a "long list of questions" regarding Premier Ford's $28.5 billion provincial transit plan.

The new 15-kilometre relief line will run from Ontario Place in the city's west to the Ontario Science centre in the east.

A subway extension into York Region will be confirmed, although it won't be completed until after the new Ontario line to prevent overcrowding, the source said.

The Tories plan also includes three other key projects - the Yonge North subway extension that will cost of $5.6 billion and be completed in 2029-2030, the $4.7-billion Eglinton Crosstown West extension light rail line to be finished by 2031, and the Scarborough subway extension, which will move from having one-stop to three-stops.

It's all part of a $28.5-billion expansion of subway infrastructure to be announced by Ford at an Etobicoke GO Transit maintenance yard Wednesday, the largest transit plan of its kind in Canadian history.

"No mayor, no premier, no prime minister can build transit alone, but one mayor, one premier or one prime minister can easily block transit progress", Tory said.

"This is an investment for generations moving forward", Ford said.

"We could be on the hook for hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars", Layton said.

He was quick to clarify, however, that he doesn't want Ottawa's public transit service, OC Transpo, to be uploaded, too; the city wants "the same funding agreement", he said.

The province said it can deliver the project by 2027 - two years earlier than the city's projections - using stand-alone technology and a different procurement method.

The amount is the "most money ever invested to get shovels in the ground and get new subways built", government officials said in a press release.

Watson said the city isn't expecting any transit cash for Stage 2 in Thursday's provincial budget "above and beyond" the province's previously announced contribution.

"Sending projects back to the drawing board will cost us more and delay new lines", said TTCriders spokesperson Shelagh Pizey-Allen.

"We have developed a reasonable path to balance", Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said, describing the plan as "the Goldilocks approach". "The province needs to be a leader on this".

The Ontario government is now in negotiations with the city to upload its subways, while leaving the fare box and maintenance with the TTC.

Tory said he won't be attending Wednesday's announcement because he's not in the loop on what's being unveiled, despite ongoing talks between city and provincial officials about the planned takeover of Toronto's subway network.

"But we shall see how the universe unfolds", said Tory, who added his office had not received an update on the province's plans as of Tuesday morning.



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