Letter to Toronto Mayor and Toronto City Council: Confirming the path to prosperity through a clear transit plan

by John Tory and Mitzie Hunter

February 7, 2012

 

His Worship Mayor Ford and Members of Toronto City Council

Dear Sirs/Mesdames,

Re: Confirming the path to prosperity through a clear transit plan

As Your Worship and Toronto City Council deliberate this week on how Toronto can best move people and goods across the city and the region, we strongly urge you to confirm a transit plan quickly and definitively. As you do so, we ask that you keep three points in mind:

  1. We are at a pivotal moment to realize the potential of an expanded transportation system, and for a number of reasons, we must seize this potential now:
    • We have a regional transportation plan
    • We have $8 billion on the table from the Province
    • This is a priority for all Torontonians. Now more than at any other time in recent history, we care about how much time we spend moving around the city.
  1. We need a plan that is efficient, accessible, and affordable, and can be fully connected and integrated with Metrolinx’ regional transportation plan.
  1. To ensure these dramatic improvements are made, we need to be open to new long-term stable sources of funding that are designated for transit and transportation.  If we are going to have a debate and decide on a transit plan, let’s make sure it is a funded plan.

Transportation is one of CivicAction’s top priorities, and we would like to offer to put CivicAction, its ability to get people working together on difficult issues, and our broadly based network of volunteers to work to assist in advancing this issue. 

Coming out of last year’s Greater Toronto Summit, more than 1000 civic leaders from across sectors and the region called for implementation and funding for the regional transportation plan. The need for an improved regional transportation system came up again and again at the Summit and in our post-Summit report as an essential way to: increase our region’s attractiveness to investors and new employers; improve the environment and the air we breathe; and improve people’s access to jobs and their health and quality of life as they make their way to work and play and back home again.

On behalf of the thousands of civic leaders involved in CivicAction, we urge you to use the occasion of this week’s meeting to find your way to a clear transit plan that serves all, and enhances the social, economic and environmental future of our region, and to begin in earnest the discussion which must take place sooner than later as to how we are going to pay for it.  Many a past transit plan has foundered due to lack of funding, and we must not let that happen again.  The negative consequences for our city are simply too great.

We look forward to discussing with you how CivicAction may play a role.

Regards,

John Tory, Chair & Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer

 

c/o City Clerk, City Clerk's Office
City Hall, 100 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M5H 2N2