Former and current Toronto City Hall councillors will square off on the provincial stage in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, a riding expected to be one of the election’s most hard-fought political brawls.
Incumbent Progressive Conservative Doug Holyday barely beat out his Liberal rival in last Summer’s byelection, edging out councillor Peter Milczyn by barely four per cent.
Milczyn’s challenging Holyday again in this western Toronto riding where congestion and transit remain big issues for residents.
Much of the area is under development as condos continue to expand their footprint. Their encroachment worries Mary Bella with the Mimico Residents Association.
“We’re concerned about how it’s going to impact the infrastructure in the neighbourhood, [people] stuck on roads for a long time.”
Milczyn says he hopes to see a new GO station along Park Lawn Road that will improve the flow of commuters. The station would be integrated into the Liberals’ existing plan for an electrified GO network running to and from Toronto.
“With electrification we can have shorter spacing between stations and have more frequent service and more stops. So that’s a local creative spin on a local issue which ties in really well overall with the government’s plans to improve transit and ease gridlock,” says Milczyn, who hopes to see the new station built within the next five to six years.
Holyday says the Progressive Conservatives would put the province in charge of all rail-based transit and major highways in the GTA – a move many believe would improve coordination and efficiency. The Conservatives also plan to ease congestion on the city’s subway system by building an east-west express line to and from downtown Toronto and Etobicoke. (Their platform hasn’t budgeted any new money for either of these however.)
The NDP candidate, former school board trustee P.C. Choo, says he’d work to restore the funding model dismantled by former Premier Mike Harris which saw the city share transit costs with other levels of government.
“My party has committed $29 billion dollars to address this [transit] shortfall and what we intend to do is not only properly fund transit but also expand it. I know there’s talk about extending an LRT from Sherway Gardens to Scarborough, and I’m in favour of that.”
Some in the riding, particularly in the southern end, worry about crime in the area. Last Summer saw a rash of break-ins but statistics reveal that since 2012 crime has been trending downward.Crime in Etobicoke-Lakeshore »