Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said Friday he would cancel construction on planned light rail lines across the Greater Toronto Area.
"If I have a choice between taking out more lanes, or actually improving our highways and building underground, I'll take improving our highways and building underground with subways any day," he said at a campaign stop near Toronto's Union Station, with GO Transit trains passing in the background.
Hudak said if elected premier on June 12, he would scrap planned LRTs along Finch and Sheppard Avenues in Toronto as well as light-rail projects in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton. Hudak said he would not cancel the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT, which is already under construction.
On Saturday, Eric Hoskins, the Liberal incumbent for Toronto's St. Paul's riding, called Hudak's plan "reckless" and a "tremendous mistake."
"They need an LRT," said Hoskins in a press conference.
"It's going to worsen gridlock ... and at the end of the day, it's going to mean not only a longer commute home for people to return to their families, but it's also going to be bad for business."
Hoskins emphasized his party's plans to build subways and LRTs, as well as incorporating express lanes and buses.
Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne took the day off from campaigning.
Hudak also said he would cancel plans to electrify sections of the GO rail network. Another transit priority, Hudak said, is the construction of a new "east-west express subway" south of Bloor Street.
The PC leader said the money saved from scrapping the light rail lines would go into adding more frequent, two-way GO service.
"Let's expand the number of trains available," said Hudak. "Let’s expand rush hour to 9 a.m. and in the evening, if you’re coming back home to Hamilton, let’s expand the last train out to 8 p.m. That will be my first objective, and that will start next year.
Hudak said he would implement all-day, two-way GO service "as quickly as possible."
He said the proposals will create 96,000 jobs.
Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow said Hudak's plan would be "unfair" to people living along Finch who've been waiting years for improved transit in that area. Karen Stintz, who is also running for mayor and was chair of the TTC before she became a candidate, said she needs provincial leaders to commit to funded and approved transit projects.