Watch above: 61 per cent of Scarborough residents say they feel neglected – Alan Carter finds out why.
TORONTO – People across Toronto think their neighbourhood is neglected by government compared to other regions in the city.
But that feeling is most pronounced in Scarborough, where 61 per cent say they feel most neglected, according to an Ipsos Reid poll done exclusively for Global News.
That’s compared to 50 per cent in East York, 34 per cent in North York, 47 per cent in Etobicoke and 26 per cent downtown.
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said people in Scarborough know they “are not being helped.”
He said he’s happy to vote for needed projects in the rest of the city but is annoyed when projects for Scarborough go unsupported.
“When I’m at the end of the line, and its finally my turn to get my share of the pie, not even an equal share of the pie, just a little bit of the pie, it’s very upsetting for Scarborough residents and politicians to hear politicians from downtown Toronto being very selfish, very self-centered, saying ‘nothing for Scarborough, everything for our people,’” he said in an interview.
The divide between the cities was most evident during the debate about whether to extend the Bloor-Danforth line into Scarborough for a cost of roughly $3.5 billion.
The project, championed by Rob Ford, cancelled the planned and fully-funded $1.4 billion light-rail transit (LRT) project.
Scarborough councillors, including De Baeremaeker, said the people of Scarborough deserved it because they helped pay for the subways and streetcars that run through downtown Toronto.
He mentioned an unnamed colleague of his who allegedly asked “why should people on king street west pay for a Scarborough subway?”
“People in Scarborough paid for the LRT and the subway system and the streetcar system that everyone in downtown enjoys. And we do that willingly, but we all have to share the wealth,” he said.
But that division is felt right across the city, Ryerson politics professor Myer Siemiatycki said.
“Scarborough wants more subways, Etobicoke wants more recognition of its needs, downtown wants more bike lanes and wants improved downtown subway access, so there’s no part of the city that doesn’t think they need more from local government,” he said.
– With files from Alan Carter