Toronto

Ontario's auditor to weigh in on controversial GO Transit stops in Vaughan, Toronto

Ontario's auditor general has some tough questions for Metrolinx surrounding its approval of two controversial GO Transit stations, and whether or not it's delivering its project in a cost-efficent and timely manner.

Metrolinx handling of LRT construction also under the microscope

Ontario's auditor general has some tough questions for Metrolinx surrounding its approval of two controversial GO Transit stations, and whether or not it's delivering other projects in a cost-efficent and timely manner.

Bonnie Lysyk is set to release a report next Wednesday that explores a wide range of topics, from healthcare to the development of Toronto's waterfront.

But Friday afternoon, she tweeted a summary of that annual report.

Two of the audits focus on Metrolinx — the regional transportation agency in charge of building and operating transit across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

First, Lysyk is conducting a value-for-money audit on two proposed Metrolinx stations at Kirby, in Vaughan, and Lawrence East, in Scarborough.

Metrolinx announced in February that it was going ahead with the stations, although both had been placed under review over concerns about political interference.

The planned Kirby stop is located in the riding once represented by former Liberal transportation minister Steven Del Duca, while the Lawrence East stop is set to part of Mayor John Tory's SmartTrack plan.

Both Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod and community groups alike demanded the auditor look into the stations' approval.

Second, the auditor is probing the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown and other light rail projects.

Metrolinx co-operating with review, spokesperson says

"The audit assessed whether Metrolinx has systems and processes in place to plan and deliver the … projects in a cost-effective and timely manner; and to evaluate, monitor and report activities and progress toward achieving project deliverables and milestones," Lysyk's brief notes.

A Metrolinx memo shows the transit agency is already prepared to accept Lysyk's recommendations, even though it doesn't know what the conclusions are.

Spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said Metrolinx has been co-operating with Lysyk's review and will create an action plan to address her conclusions.

Aikins wouldn't speculate on whether or not Lysyk will recommend cancelling the stations.

With files from Mike Smee

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