Toronto politicians’ rhetoric around subways has hardly followed a straight line in the last three years. Here’s a rundown of who has said what about subways and LRTs:
MAYOR ROB FORD
Ford has been fairly steady on the “subways, subways, subways” stance:
“People want subways, I think that debate is clear.”
–Mayor Rob Ford this week when asked about the looming subway debate.
“Obviously, we’re not going to agree. You don’t support subways, I support subways. You support LRTs, I do not support LRTs. You support streetcars, I do not support streetcars. Fine.”
– Ford to TTC chair Karen Stintz at council in May 2013.
“Thank you very much, actually I didn’t miss the debate. I actually voted for subways and I made a passionate speech about subways.”
– Ford on his Newstalk 1010 show in November 2012 after a caller accused him of missing a transit debate to coach football.
“I’m going to fight until the day I die for those subways and we will get subways.”
– Ford during an interview on CP24 in October 2012
“The people of this city have spoken loud and clear. They want subways, folks. They want subways, subways, subways.”
– Ford during the Sheppard subway vs. Sheppard LRT debate at council in March 2012.
“That whole meeting was irrelevant.”
– Ford after city council voted in February 2012 to revive most of the Transit City plan including the four LRT lines.
“I was elected on a mandate, I campaigned on subways, I made it quite clear that if I got elected that Transit City would be scrapped and I’m doing exactly what the voters asked me to do … People want subways in the city.”
-Ford in December 2010
TTC CHAIRMAN KAREN STINTZ
Stintz now supports extending the subway instead of building the Scarborough LRT to replace the Scarborough RT but her views on subways versus LRTs have varied at times:
“It is my hope that I can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the mayor and deliver on a commitment for a subway to Scarborough.”
– Stintz on Thursday, July 12, 2013.
“I stand by the transit plan council approved. We were asked to make a decision on our transit future, we made it.”
– Stintz in October 2012
“What we’ve learned from the last debate was there was a division between what the suburbs felt they were getting in terms of transit and what they believe the downtown core was getting in transit. We think it is very important that we bring the city together as one city.”
– Stintz in June 2012 as she rolled out the OneCity plan
“Do you normally build a subway to service gas stations?”
– Stintz makes a point when she asks TTC staff about the lack of development at Warden and Sheppard (and therefore the lack of need for a subway) during a transit debate in March 2012
“I now have a better understanding of the technology and a better appreciation of how important it is to spend scarce resources wisely to improve transit across the city. I can also tell you that I support subways and support their construction. Our challenge is finding the resources to meet all our transit needs.”
-Stintz in an interview with the Sun in March 2012 on why she supports LRTs but once support subways
“This is a vote. We’ll get past it. We’re one city. We need to move forward together.”
– Stintz on whether she could work with Mayor Rob Ford after the Sheppard subway vote in March 2012.
“We have funding in place for those four plans.”
– Stintz in February 2012 on why council should revive the four Transit City LRTs plans including the Scarborough LRT
” Part of the discussions have been that having a Sheppard subway is a key campaign commitment and important for the city but equally important to Sheppard is Eglinton and so we need to figure out how we are going to do both”
– Stintz in January 2011
“Had we taken that (LRT) approach on Yonge St., we wouldn’t be the city we are today. From a long-term city-building perspective, (Sheppard) really should be a subway, as should the Eglinton and Scarborough lines. I think that we are taking a short-sighted approach to how we’re going to use this investment to benefit the city.”
– Stintz arguing the planned LRT lines should be subways in 2009
COUNCILLOR GLENN DE BAEREMAEKER
The Scarborough councillor once raved about LRTs but has since come over to the subway side:
“We asked the provincial government to consider upgrading the LRT line to a full-fledged subway. In the end, when the dust settles, Scarborough is going to get its subway.”
– De Baeremaeker in June 2013
“You cannot have taxation without transportation … This is the right subway at the right location at the right price.”
– De Baeremaeker on the Scarborough subway expansion at council in May 2013
“I want to keep politics out of this, what I want to do as a Scarborough councillor is make sure Scarborough gets a subway.”
– De Baeremaeker in June 2012 as he rolled out the OneCity plan that included the Bloor-Danforth extension
“We don’t have LRT vehicles in the city of Toronto but dammit we are going to bring them here today with this vote and you know what LRTs are sleek, beautiful, powerful, reliable machines.”
– De Baeremaeker making the case for LRTs at council in March 2012
SCARBOROUGH-GUILDWOOD LIBERAL CANDIDATE MITZIE HUNTER
During her stint at CivicAction Hunter supported the LRT plan but she’s since come out cheering for subways on the campaign trail:
“I want to work with Scarborough residents and develop solutions to tackle the tough issues of employment, housing, and transit. Only the Ontario Liberals have serious plans to improve transit for all Scarborough residents.”
– Mitzie Hunter in a Liberal campaign press release Thursday, July 12, 2013
“The LRT option is the choice for the ridership, for the funds that are available, and also for timeframe in terms of the impact on the community and for equity issues as well -bringing rapid transit to more people.”
– Hunter in the National Post on March 17, 2012
TRANSPORTATION MINISTER GLEN MURRAY/PREDECESSOR BOB CHIARELLI
The Liberal Transportation Ministers were OK with LRTs until recently:
“I’m not really fussed if it is a subway or an LRT … The city needs to stand up and not let the people of Scarborough be second-class citizens. We need to give Scarborough a sufficient level of transit.”
–Transportation Minister Glenn Murray on July 11, 2013.
“I’ve said this several times now –I want to be very clear so no one misunderstands me: We have 15 projects, we’re not revisiting those projects; we’re continuing to build those projects.”
– Glen Murray in May 2013.
“The train has left the station. Toronto city council has voted overwhelmingly to support the Metrolinx plan and we already have shovels in the ground. It’s clear that Tim Hudak’s platform is totally off the rails.”
–Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli in October 2012 in response to PC leader Tim Hudak’s subway plan