Auditor general asked to review controversial GO stations proposed by Metrolinx

Ontario's auditor general has been asked to review the Kirby and Lawrence East GO stations proposed under Metrolinx's regional rail expansion.

Kirby and Lawrence East are part of the proposed 12 station regional rail expansion

A review by Metrolinx found significant issues with the two stations. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

Ontario's auditor general has been asked to review the controversial Kirby and Lawrence East GO stations proposed by Metrolinx.

Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod's motion requesting the audit was approved by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts Wednesday.

The two stations are part of Metrolinx's proposed 12 station expansion to rail service called Regional Express Rail (RER).

The proposed Kirby station was to be built in the Vaughan riding of Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, but an initial business case review (IBC) conducted by Metrolinx in 2016 found major issues with the proposal.

"The preliminary results of the IBC show that the benefits which could be realized by a Kirby station are not large enough to outweigh the anticipated negative impacts to GO Transit and the economy," the report found.

A similar review of the proposed Lawrence East stop found the station would be complex to build, underused and push more commuters to use cars.

Metrolinx's proposed expansion to regional rail. (Metrolinx)

Review already underway

A further internal review of the stations is already underway, according to Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.

"We want to assure the public we aren't going to build a station that isn't warranted," Aikins said.

She said the transit agency would happily comply with an auditor general's review.

Before the audit was requested, Del Duca indicated that he too supported a further review of the stations, including the possibility that they be removed from the proposed RER network.

"If in the opinion of Metrolinx's management team and board, the aforementioned information is not adequate to justify these stations, then both Kirby and Lawrence East GO stations should be deferred to the next round of consideration at a further date," Del Duca wrote.

Metrolinx's additional review of the stations is scheduled to be finished in February.