TORONTO – The federal government will invest $660-million for the full extension of the Scarborough subway, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Monday.
Flaherty made the announcement at a news conference at the Don Montgomery Community Centre in Toronto.
He was joined by Mayor Rob Ford, as well as several Toronto city councillors.
“Our message from the government of Canada is you have our money. Now, let’s get this subway built,” Flaherty said.
“We keep our commitments. As you know, we’re a majority government. We will be there, we will pay the money.”
Ford has long said he needed all three levels of government to be at the table for the expansion. He was thrilled with the announcement.
“Residents of Scarborough have waited long enough for quality, rapid transit and folks, that wait is almost over,” he said.
“I did exactly, exactly what the taxpayers asked me to do and that’s fight, fight and don’t give up.”
A TTC staff report estimates the cost to build all the way to Sheppard at $2.5-billion versus $2.9-billion for the province’s shorter RT route.
TTC Chair Karen Stintz says that leaves too many gaps.
“It’s very important that we connect the subway to the Sheppard LRT so the residents of Scarborough have greater access to rapid transit and they have access to a transit network,” she said.
Flaherty also announced that the government is recommitting $330-million for the Metrolinx Sheppard East project, bringing the total Ottawa financial commitment to almost $1-billion.
The cost to run the line all the way to Sheppard is estimated at $2.5-billion so even with the province’s $1.4-billion, the city needs about $500-million.
The mayor says there will have to be a tax hike of up to two per cent.