Toronto

Ontario PC leader says people of Scarborough deserve $3.35B subway extension

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says he supports the $3.35 billion Scarborough subway extension because the massive transit project would create jobs.

Patrick Brown says the massive transit project would create economic opportunities

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says he supports value-for-money audits on 'every aspect of government' and that includes the $3.35 billion Scarborough subway extension. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says he supports the $3.35 billion Scarborough subway extension because the massive transit project would create jobs.

Brown told CBC Radio's Metro Morning that the PC party has promised $5 billion in new funding for subway projects in the Greater Toronto Area, including the Scarborough extension, because commuters need the projects to be built. The extension, in particular, would create economic opportunities, he explained.

"This would kick start a revival in Scarborough. This is about jobs," Brown said on Monday.

"I support a value for money audit on every aspect of government, but let me say, the people of Scarborough deserve transit like every one else does," he said. 
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said: 'The people of Scarborough deserve transit like every one else does.' (CBC)

"Scarborough is sort of the forgotten part of Toronto. The transit isn't adequate. The people of Scarborough contribute taxes just like everyone else does. The fact that they continue to get forgotten is something that frankly I am not going to allow to happen."

Brown said the project, slated for the eastern edge of Toronto, has been approved nine times by city council, and as PC leader, he believes in respecting municipal voices. The project has been delayed by politics, he added.

In exchange for picking up Toronto's portion of the costs for the Scarborough subway extension, Brown said his party would obtain an agreement from the city saying it would extend the Eglinton Crosstown "all the way" to the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus, and "hopefully" to the Malvern neighbourhood in northeast Toronto. 

"So there would be an LRT and subways in Scarborough," he said. 
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown walks on Lawrence Avenue East before speaking to the media. (Paul Smith/CBC)
Coun. Josh Matlow has said he plans to ask city council this week to support a value-for-money analysis of the Scarborough subway extension versus an LRT alternative that would include seven stops. The analysis would look at the costs and benefits of both ideas, he explained. 

When asked about the plan, Brown said: "I support a value for money on everything that the government spends taxpayers dollars on."

Under its platform, entitled People's Guarantee, the party promises a PC provincial government in Ontario would:

  • Assume the cost of maintaining and investing in Toronto's subway system,
  • Fund what it calls the Scarborough extension cost escalator,
  • Fund the city's portion of the Scarborough extension, provided the city agrees to pay for extending the Eglinton Crosstown to University of Toronto, Scarborough campus,
  • Pledge to commit to regional express rail electrification, Smart Track, and fare integration,
  • And pledge to improve Toronto-Ontario relations through regular meetings between Mayor John Tory and Brown to discussed shared priorities.

With files from CBC Radio's Metro Morning

now