Ontario denies report it may share operating costs of the TTC
WATCH: Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Winnipeg Thursday where she told Global Winnipeg that no conversation regarding provinvial funding of the TTC has started but that she’s open to talks with mayor-elect John Tory in the future.
TORONTO – Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca denied the province has any plans to help the city pay for the TTC.
Del Duca was denying the allegations made in a report published by The Globe and Mail Thursday morning which said there have been “positive” signals from the premier’s office that Ontario could very well take up some of the burden of running the TTC.
But Del Duca told reporters following a transit announcement in Barrie, Ont., the Globe article is “incorrect.”
He said the government is dedicated to supporting Toronto with its current transit projects such as the Eglinton Crosstown, the Scarborough subway extension, and renewing the TTC’s streetcar fleet.
Mayor-elect John Tory’s transition staff have reportedly met with the premier’s staff on the transit issue and it’s expected Kathleen Wynne will have a face-to-face meeting with the formal provincial PC leader in the coming weeks.
Tory said at a press conference Thursday however his meetings have not touched on whether the province would pick up some of the TTC’s operating bill. He did say however, he would be lobbying the government to give Toronto whatever support it could.
WATCH: Reports suggest province may share TTC operating costs
“We cannot solve our transit challenges or our housing challenges on the backs alone of our property tax payers or for that matter the fare paying customers of the TTC,” he said.
“We need the partnership and assistance of lots of other people including, in particular, the two governments.”
TTC CEO Andy Byford told the Globe it is problematic to continue to fund Toronto’s transit solely by means of the fare box and property taxes.
The TTC is one of the few transit systems in North America to operate without dedicated funding from higher levels of government.
During the municipal election campaign, Tory positioned himself as the only candidate that could bring other levels of government together to help fund transit and infrastructure projects in Toronto.
Sources told the Globe that any plans for the province to help fund the TTC would have to be done after the government balances its budget. Ontario currently faces a $12.5-billion deficit.