June 16, 2014 5:45 pm
Updated: June 16, 2014 5:47 pm

Candidates talk transit: Only Stintz has relief line as top priority


Watch above: Toronto’s mayoral candidates lay out their transit priorities. Jackson Proskow reports. 

TORONTO – Toronto main mayoral candidates – minus Rob Ford – locked horns Monday morning in a transit-themed debate.

John Tory, Olivia Chow, Karen Stintz and David Soknacki took part in the event called the “Solving Gridlock” forum.

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READ MORE: How the mayoral candidates plan to pay for public transit

The debate started with the four candidates detailing their transit priorities – and highlighting the fact the debate about whether to build light rail transit or a subway in Scarborough is still very much alive.

Soknacki would start by cancelling the Scarborough subway and replacing it with light rail transit, then building the downtownrelief line.

Tory would build the Scarborough subway, then proceed with his SmartTrack plan.

Chow would first increase bus service, then build the Scarborough LRT, fix the backlog of essential maintenance and only then start planning the relief line.

Watch: All mayoral candidates want to build transit – but how will they pay for it? 

Chow took the opportunity to criticize Tory’s SmartTrack plan, accusing him of flip-flopping.  He had attacked her decision to “eventually” build a relief line earlier in the campaign and said it was among his top priorities before announcing his surface subway, the SmartTrack plan.

“I’ve only had one transit plan,” Tory countered. “I don’t think [Chow] has a plan.”

Stintz differentiated herself from Chow and Soknacki and said the debate over the Scarborough subway is over. Her top priority is building the relief line.

And all four candidates lent their support behind zone- and time-based fares and further integration with GO Transit.

Voters go to the polls on October 27.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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