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Newsstand: July 4, 2013

In the U.S., it's a holiday today. Bet you like that. So the news, then: Mayor Rob Ford still really likes subways, the mayor's executive committee has decided to defer a decision on raising development fees for new homes, a report on the first phase of a study evaluating whether to allow jet traffic at Billy Bishop Airport should come out in the fall, and the jury's still out on whether the city will bail out Bixi.

newsstand jeremy kai spring 2

On Tuesday, the chief executive of Metrolinx indicated that the provincial transit agency was basically ready to wash its hands of the Scarborough subway project; yesterday, Mayor Rob Ford reiterated his commitment to bringing a subway to the ‘borough, and said he’s called on the city manager to report back to council on how the project could be paid for.

Speaking of maybe paying for transit, Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee met yesterday and decided to defer until September a controversial decision on raising development fees for new homes. The fees, which a recently released staff report recommended nearly doubling, are intended to be used towards improving city infrastructure, including transit.

Also at yesterday’s executive meeting, the committee got an update on work being done to evaluate the potential Billy Bishop Airport expansion plan—the one that would allow jet traffic to go through. A report on the first phase of the study is slated to come out in September, with the final draft expected in November. Meanwhile, about two dozen speakers signed up to address the issue at yesterday’s executive committee meeting, but their numbers dropped off when the meeting ran into dinnertime. Hard to get all riled up about jet traffic when you’re plain hungry.

Another issue getting deferred is that of the age-old question of whether the city will choose to bail out its debt-ridden bike-sharing program, Bixi. The executive committee voted late yesterday to send the matter back to staff, though their exact directions to staff remain confidential. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) said he was pleased with the outcome. So there’s that.


  • KRoberts

    Until Ford can come up with a solid funding plan for his Subway pipe dream, could he please shut up and let us continue to build the much needed infrastructure we can afford? I’m so sick of all this useless political posturing.

    • HotDang

      Pretending that he will be able to build a subway is his only chance of re-election, so it’s his only choice. The sad thing is that a lot of uninformed dumb shits will fall for it like they did last time.

      • em_robin

        He will build one, it will be 4 stops connected to nothing in the middle
        of nowhere, and he’ll call it his legacy. Meanwhile it will have
        exhausted all transit funding, leaving us with an incomplete Eglinton
        LRT and no DRL…

    • dsmithhfx

      “useless political posturing”

      That’s what he does.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      This goes for everyone on council who thinks Toronto’s transit crisis is best resolved by tacking 5 more years of delays to the decades that have already elapsed.

  • em_robin

    I can’t seem to find any articles on how Bixi operates in Montreal so successfully (or at least, it appears to run successfully). Granted the rates are higher in Montreal, but that can’t be the only thing keeping them afloat…

    • Dinah Might

      Higher rate of latte-sipping per capita? :-)

  • adamd1

    So this is where we’ve returned after three years of Ford never once understanding that subways are not going to happen.

    Ford gets elected and he “cancels” transit city – only he can’t do that because it was already a signed agreement with the province to build a large amount of infrastructure. City Council could “cancel” it, but they’d need to be in majority agreement
    They debate it. Karen Stintz comes out of the woodwork and proposes a modified version of what was already known to be agreed to in transit city, and that passes majority vote in city council. Council made it clear: there is no funding for “subways subways subways”, so we’re no longer pursuing subways. Instead, why not take the provincial money which would pay for the (more affordable, quicker to build, farther-reaching) LRT’s like we *already agreed to do*??
    Ford pushes to make the LRT run underground, increasing the cost of building the thing.
    Now he’s back to subways again, and this is year three of this crap.

    Honestly: There’s flogging a dead horse, and then there’s what Rob Ford is doing: There is no horse left. There is nothing left to flog. It is an ex-horse. There is no money to build subways.

    • KRoberts

      lol it’s an ex-horse – “it is an Ex-Parrot!” LOL

      Monty Python… anyone? Bueller?