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Province to ask federal government to help fund $28.5B transit plan

Last Updated Mar 10, 2020 at 12:52 pm EST

The provincial government has announced that it will be asking Ottawa to help fund its ambitious $28.5-billion transit plan.

At a press conference in Scarborough Tuesday morning, Premier Doug Ford said he’s asking the federal government to step up with 40 per cent of the funding.

“What’s good for Ontario is good for Canada,” Ford said. “My friends, it’s full speed ahead.”

The province’s transit plan consists of four subway projects, including the Ontario Line and a three stop Scarborough subway.

“We have made tremendous progress in the past working with our federal partners, and we can do it again with our rapid transit plan, which includes four subways,” Ford said in a statement.

“I firmly believe these projects will not only move Ontario forward, but will move the entire country forward.”

Ford first announced his massive transit plan in April 2019, saying the province would pay for the whole thing themselves if necessary.

However, at Tuesday’s press conference the premier wouldn’t say if he still stood by that province.

All Ford said was traditionally Ottawa pays for 40 per cent, and he looks forward to meeting with members of the federal government later this week.

Last month the province and the City of Toronto signed off on the preliminary agreement to expand transit in the GTA.

Toronto city council approved the plan back in October. The transit projects include the Ontario Line and the Yonge North subway extension.

At the time, Mayor John Tory called the signing an “important step.”

Tory wasn’t at today’s announcement, as he is currently in London, but in a statement called it “a step forward.”

“Today’s announcement by Premier Doug Ford and the provincial government is a step forward in the important work we need to do to get the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton West LRT built,” Tory said.

“I will continue to work with the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada to get on with building transit – it is the best way to protect Toronto’s success and to respond to the growth we are seeing as North America’s fastest growing city.

“The federal government has been a strong partner when it comes to building and investing in transit in Toronto and I hope that will continue with additional investments in transit capital and state-of-good repair work.”

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