Ford says 'downtown people have enough subways'
Chris Kitching , CP24.com
Published Friday, October 11, 2013 6:01PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 11, 2013 7:17PM EDT
Mayor Rob Ford offered a glimpse into his 2014 re-election campaign Friday, saying the next municipal election will be “fought again” on subways.
In an interview with CP24, Ford outlined part of his vision for future subway expansion, saying he wants to focus on extending the network into the suburbs, including a connection between the planned McCowan Station, which is part of the proposed Scarborough extension, and Don Mills to the north.
If re-elected, Ford wants to take a look at the so-called downtown relief line that has plenty of support from TTC riders, but he is taking flack for a comment he made in an apparent attempt to put it lower on his list of priority routes.
“To be fair, the downtown people have enough subways already,” Ford said as he and new Ward 3 Coun. Peter Leon joined CP24 commentator Stephen LeDrew for an interview.
Twitter users were quick to disagree with the mayor’s “downtown people” comment, saying the downtown relief line is needed to ease the congestion they endure on Bloor-Danforth and Yonge-University-Spadina trains into and out of the city’s core, and because it would benefit people who live outside of downtown Toronto.
There are concerns that the congestion will get far worse as the city grows and the subway system expands to York University and Vaughan.
“If only he understood it's not just the people who live downtown (who) need the DRL,” said Twitter user @ChristopherGo24.
“The downtown people have enough subways. One. One subway,” said @djsannen.
Twitter user @Whats_With_Andy wrote: “only someone who works downtown but drives into work would say something like this.”
Some saw Ford’s comment as a ploy to cater to the neighbourhoods where he has more support.
“Rob Ford does such a good job at making 'the downtown people' seem like the spoiled, entitled enemy so that the suburbs vote for him,” @Rick_City wrote.
He added: "The downtown people have also had enough Rob Ford."
Ainslie gives up spot on executive committee
Meanwhile, Ford said he is appointing Leon to his executive committee to fill a spot vacated by Coun. Paul Ainslie. Ainslie vacated his spot on the committee when he resigned his appointed position as chair of the parks and environment committee Friday.
Ainslie resigned days after he voted for a proposed light-rail transit project instead of the Scarborough subway extension championed by the mayor.
In a written statement, Ainslie questioned Ford’s leadership and vision.
Ainslie said he is “concerned with a lack of appropriate fiscal objectives, as well as long-term strategic planning, which should be reflected in a vision co-ordinated by Rob Ford.”
“I feel our city is now in a ‘status quo’ state of operations, which will not lead it along the necessary path to promote growth, and long-term success,” Ainslie said.
Ford told CP24 he planned to dismiss Ainslie by the end of the day.
“It just looks better like that before I have to get rid of him,” Ford told CP24.
Councillor Paul Ainslie speaks to reporters, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks at a city council meeting.
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