Cities to blame for gridlock: Ont. Liberals
Published Tuesday, July 12, 2011 5:25PM EDT
TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government says it's doing its part to reduce gridlock in the province and if congestion isn't easing, it's because of bad municipal decisions.
Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli says the province has been investing in transit to get cars off the road, but that funding is sometimes not implemented because the cities don't make it a priority.
He points to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who moved quickly to scrap "Transit City" after he was elected.
That program sought to spread more light rail lines throughout Toronto.
Instead, Ford chose to focus on subway extensions in the city's north and east ends.
Such moves, Chiarelli says, set provincial government's transit plans back by eight to 10 months.
"Our money's been on the table, our money has adjusted to the circumstances of the local community," he said.
"We can't build the subway in Toronto if the City of Toronto doesn't agree."
Chiarelli said the province wasn't willing to withhold funding in those instances, because it respected the municipalities' autonomy.
A call to Ford's office was not immediately returned.