More than fairy dust needed to fund transit

(Toronto):  Scarborough–Rouge River by-election candidate Priyan De Silva is calling for provincial funding to build light rail for the Sheppard East LRT and fund the Eglinton East LRT with a connection to Malvern. 

“Scarborough transit riders are tired of being used as a political football,” says Mr. De Silva. “It’s time to be honest about how we are going to pay for the transit we need in Scarborough. I challenge the NDP, Liberal and PC candidates to come clean on how they will pay for the transit they have all said they want in Scarborough.”

The GPO supports funding for the Sheppard East LRT and the Eglinton East LRT, through provincial increases in taxes on big business, parking levies, congestion charges and land value taxes.

The Sheppard East LRT had some money already committed from the province and federal government, but has now been postponed. That line would add 13 kilometres of new transit along Sheppard Avenue and link Don Mills subway station to east of Morningside Avenue. The Eglinton East Crosstown LRT needs to link north of the 401 to Malvern Town Centre, and more importantly needs funding.

The provincial NDP, Liberal and PC candidates have all indicated they support more transit in Scarborough–Rouge River, but they are silent when it comes to paying for it.

“Promises backed by magic money and fairy dust won’t get us anywhere,” adds GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “Nothing gets built without funding, and yet the 3 parties in a position to make funding available have avoided doing so.”

“The revenue tools we support — and experts recommend — not only raise the money needed to build much needed infrastructure, they also have the added benefit of reducing gridlock right now,” says De Silva.