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Province will pay for Mississauga LRT: Crombie

September 14, 2014


Mississauga mayoral candidate Bonnie Crombie says the province told her it will pay for a $1.6-billion light-rail transit line.

In rolling out her campaign platform Tuesday, Crombie pledged to build the Hurontario LRT by 2020 and offered assurances that the provincial government will put up the cash for the project.

“I’ve been assured as a result of the new revenue tools we will not have to put up the funding ourselves,” said Crombie, who unveiled her platform at Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre. “Mississauga will be included in the next wave of funding of the next Big Move (wave) at Metrolinx.”

The province estimates it will take five to eight years to build the Hurontario LRT if work starts in 2015, she said.

Crombie insisted the LRT will “form the spine” of a regionally integrated transit network in the city and must be completed by 2020 — if not sooner.

But she stressed that Mississauga property taxpayers can’t afford a special levy to pay for the project.

“We’re ready to go … Now we need action. We need our fair share and we need to get it built,” she added.

Patrick Searle, spokesman for Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, would not say if the province had committed to pay the entire cost of the Hurontario LRT.

“The province will work with Metrolinx and municipalities on how best to prioritize transit investments through the use of rigorous business-case analyses,” he said in an e-mail.

Crombie, meanwhile, also promised in her 64-page platform that she will hold property tax increases to the rate of inflation. She also acknowledged that the city must find operational efficiencies and she did not rule out service cuts.

Steve Mahoney, the other main contender in the race to replace outgoing Hazel McCallion, said Crombie’s claims to have had talks with the province about LRT funding are simply an attempt to take credit for the work of the current mayor and council. City staff have told him $200 million will be required from the municipal coffers to fund work on surface areas and the stations, he said.

“Thinking pie in the sky that the province is just going to cut a blank cheque is not the case,” he insisted.


Article source: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/09/09/mississauga-mayoral-candidate-bonnie-crombie-vows-beefed-up-transit-for-mississauga

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