I know, I know. It’s making my head hurt too.
We all know by now what happened at Toronto Council this week. Not much I can say about it that hasn’t been said already, and in the interests of remaining measured and temperate, I’m not going to single out anyone by name. It’s enough to observe, in passing, that it’s already running into some, er, complications.
Well, that’s this morning’s cheap laugh. But given my fascination with things like nuance and subtlety, I think it’s worthwhile setting out why they’re not likely to apply in this situation.
First of all, hands up all those who think subtleties are among this administration’s strong points.
[ … pause … ]
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Over to you, Janet Davis and Josh Matlow:
(Aren’t they great, folks? They’re here all week. Try the veal.)
In fairness, I’ve heard from some of the people who supported the subway option that they did so because there were several safeguards and conditions built in. Federal and provincial funding, tax hikes that reflect the capital and operating needs of the new undertakings, no diversion from other badly needed transit upgrades such as the Downtown Relief Line or the Sheppard, Finch and Eglinton LRTs, and not at the expense of other city services, yada yada yada.
Yeah, well. I like to make fun of myself for my own naivete sometimes, but … seriously? Look, these are worthwhile conditions, but
- does anyone really think they’re going to be met?
- does anyone really believe what’s happened this week, even with all these safeguards, furthers the cause of Clarity on Toronto’s Transit Future?
Let’s review: We had a Master Agreement in place. Planning, approvals and funding all set. Now we have … what, exactly? A big question mark. A giant gap in the transit needs not only of Scarborough, but the entire city of Toronto. Another several years of delay and a nebulous “solution” that
- isn’t guaranteed
- will cost more
- will take longer to implement
- will depend more on externalities to be cost-effective
- will be less accessible …
… assuming it ever materializes at all. A notional “subway” that appeals to people who think in terms of shallow catchphrases and childish notions of “deserve” and “second-class citizens,” and plays into the hands of the politicians who pander to them.
Bottom line: we had clarity. Now we have uncertainty. I’m not carrying water for the province or Metrolinx, but honestly, would anyone blame them if they just pulled the plug at this point?
- The Scarborough subway: Zombie, or merely Undead? | #TOpoli
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- Taking the pettiness of politics out of the equation
- Some quick thoughts about #OneCity | #TOpoli #transit
- Subway fetishists, snake oil, and Scarborough | #TOpoli #transit
- Exposed: the truth behind Toronto’s transit woes | #TOpoli
- Nuance, complexity, and why progressives are frequently at a disadvantage | #TOpoli #onpoli #cdnpoli
- Scarborough subway debate hits second day (globalnews.ca)
- Bumper-sticker rhetoric waylays transit debate (thestar.com)
- The road to Toronto’s transit woes (macleans.ca)
- Ontario’s $1.4 billion scarborough subway pledge not enough, Karen Stintz says (metronews.ca)
- Toronto to debate Scarborough subway plan at city hall (globalnews.ca)
- City manager confirms $333M in federal funding committed to Sheppard LRT as council resumes subway debate (news.nationalpost.com)