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Transit high on Crombie's wish list for Mississauga in 2015

January 3, 2015
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Mississauga’s new mayor Bonnie Crombie says she hopes 2015 will be a year where the city makes progress on transit.

Crombie, elected in October, is the city’s first new mayor in over three decades. She takes the reins from Hazel McCallion, who herself lamented the state of Mississauga’s transit in an interview with the Toronto Sun last year. But Crombie said there is renewed hope in the form of several long-planned projects.

“We are waiting in great anticipation for the big announcement,” she said, of hopes Mississauga’s Hurontario St. light-rail transit project will move forward under Metrolinx’ Big Move strategy in 2015. “We’re hopeful it comes next spring.”

Crombie, who pitched improved transit in her campaign platform, said along with the LRT she will continue to champion completion of the city’s bus rapid transit corridor. With four stations now open, 12 more will come online to offer 18 kilometres of service from Meadowvale to Airport Corporate Centre.

Crombie said she has also spoken with Toronto Mayor John Tory about how Mississauga’s transit plans can connect with his SmartTrack rail project.

“It’s just very preliminary, we have had that conversation,” she said. “We’re both in sync … I think we realize we are of a single mind on this issue. We understand the need to build transit, a regionally integrated transit system.”

Crombie said she’s also confident she’ll be able to deliver on another key campaign pledge — keeping tax increases to the rate of inflation. This year the budget looks good, she said.

“It looks like the budget is going to come in line just where I’d like it to be,” she said. “I’m very, very happy.”

Crombie, who spent the last four years representing Ward 5, said there were “no surprises” when she came into office. The city is in good shape, but still faces many challenges.

“Aging infrastructure, decreasing revenues, building transportation networks and making up for decreased revenues by continued economic growth and by maintaining a competitive tax rate,” she said.

And Crombie said McCallion has offered her support and advice when required.

“She’s always going to be a friend, mentor and advisor to me,” Crombie said. “She’s just a phone call away if I need to run something past her.”

Crombie predicts we’ll see McCallion take a role with the Queen’s Park.

“Whether it be municipal legislation or being the advocate for transportation and public transit,” Crombie said. “Maybe she’ll become our secret weapon.” 

Article source: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/01/03/transit-high-on-crombies-wish-list-for-mississauga-in-2015

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