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Duly Quoted: Karen Stintz on Metrolinx

TTC chair won't endorse or reject Metrolinx's new funding strategy for transit.

“We’ve talked about $2 billion a year—does it really need to be $2 billion a year? Given all that’s being built in the region right now, what is it that we absolutely require to continue to move forward with this plan?… Really it’s a provincial decision, and once they become more definitive about their approach to funding then municipalities can be behind it.”

—TTC chair Karen Stintz on Metro Morning Wednesday, in response to Metrolinx’s proposal to use some new dedicated taxes and levies to pay for building the next generation of transit infrastructure in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Yesterday Mayor Rob Ford rejected all new taxes and fees, saying residents couldn’t afford the cost. Stintz, in reply, said the question isn’t just what it’ll cost, but what we will get—something she says neither Metrolinx nor the municipalities have done a good enough job explaining to the public.


  • Torontopoly

    Karen Stintz flips and flops more than a fish on a dock. I understand that she’s trying to play political mediator here but why question a target of $2B a year if it has been studied and verified as an attainable and effective amount of funding?

    • Not a future mayor

      Karen Stintz is being a coward, period.

      • Jacob

        She’s scared of Ford “No Tax” Nation, which has proven to be undeterred by mountains of scandals. That’s the elephant in the room, so to say.

    • dsmithhfx

      Stintz is a fiscal conservative who has her eye on a run for mayor in 2014. Ford picked her for his executive committee (despite their later falling-out), and she has sided with the Ford agenda on many, many council votes. Clearly though, she has proven far more astute and able in office than Ford (well, who hasn’t; even Mammo has the edge at this particular point in time), and I don’t reckon a video of her smoking crack will be turning up anytime soon. She has brought some much-needed civility, intelligence and coolness to council discourse, and I admire her for that.

  • tomwest

    It needs to be more than $2bn a year.

  • Moaz Ahmadmoa

    Karen Stintz is trying to ensure that the lion’s share of funding and projects happen in a way that will benefit Toronto. That in itself is not terrible. The question is whether Stintz is prepared to throw the entire region under the proverbial bus in order to get what she wants for Toronto.

    With Ford it was all about service cutbacks, no new revenues except pie-in-the-sky private financing schemes that no private companies have stepped up for, and an obsession with subways at all costs.

    Stintz is trying hard to prove that she is not Ford, but her comments and voting record show that she is not all that different … which may just be how she likes it. After all, 2014 is not far away.

  • Steve Munro

    Stintz seems to miss the point that the $2 billion is for a whole new set of projects most of which won’t be built until after the current set is completed. Some of those first projects were delayed because Queen’s Park could not afford the cash flow all at once out of general revenues. If she wants the Downtown Relief Line and a lot of new GO services to the 905, Stintz should be ready to embrace new revenue streams.

  • HotDang

    It would be pretty cool if they added another cent to the HST and sent all that money to arts funding.

  • Bill

    Why do all the other transit systems work together with GO but, the TTC does not? Metrolinx has done more for transit in the GTA in the last 2 years than the TTC has done in the last 5.

    • Marc

      Because the TTC is run by the city, which is run by Rob Ford.

      • Testu

        To be fair, the TTC has been at odds with co-operating with GO/Metrolinx since long before the Ford administration.

        They fought the Presto deployment tooth and nail and that was entirely during David Miller’s term.

        The TTC has a serious case of not-invented-here syndrome and an aversion to modernization in general (occasionally for good reasons). They’ve also made it perfectly clear that they’re not interested in fare integration with any of the surrounding municipalities or the regional transit service (GO).

    • F GO

      This has nothing to do with the TTC. The big wigs at GO don’t care about stations and service in the 416 area and they refuse to subsidize any TTC co-fares*. Too many would-be 416 users to subsidize would make GO’s fare recovery ratio look bad!

      * The reason why riders in the 905 get a discount for taking the bus to a GO station is because GO transit pays the difference to the local municipality. GO does not want to do this with the TTC.

  • Paul Kishimoto

    Such a contrast with Kathleen Wynne. Whatever she is displaying (some would say “a commie pinko leftist’s eagerness to tax the payer to death”; “cojones” is not appropriate; maybe “courage” or “leadership” works), Stinz can’t muster at this critical moment.

    • Lee Zamparo

      Yep. As much as I think the provincial Liberals have committed some monumentally stupid political errors McGuinty’s last term, I have to admire Wynne’s leadership on transit. That’s politically difficult work, and work that neither the other provincial leaders nor Toronto’s municipal leaders have been willing to do.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “What is it that we absolutely require?” = “what is the bare minimum?”

    This is why we can’t have nice things.