Ontario moves to take over Toronto subway projects

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TORONTO — The Government of Ontario introduced legislation last week to transfer ownership of four subway projects to the provincial government, a move it says will speed up construction of the projects.

The Getting Ontario Moving Act was introduced on May 2. Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek said in a press release that, if passed the legislation would allow the government “to get shovels in the ground and get new subways built faster.

Urbantoronto.ca reports the four projects, three subway lines and one mostly underground light rail extension, will cost an estimated $28.5 billion Canadian. The legislation would prevent the City of Toronto and its agencies from working on the projects, transferring management to the regional transportation agency Metrolinx. Talks continue on the possibility of transferring the entire subway system to the province, rather than just new projects, globalnews.ca reports.

Critics question whether the proposal will result in speedier construction. Andrea Horwath, leader of the opposition Ontario New Democratic Party, called the move by Premier Doug Ford and his Ontario Progressive Conservative Party “a hostile takeover of the [Toronto Transit Commission] subways. Freezing out the City of Toronto, and Toronto families and commuters, will have devastating consequences for generations to come.”

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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