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Ford won’t pay for subway overruns

Mayor Rob Ford says the province shouldn’t expect the city to pay for any extra costs associated with the new Scarborough subway plan.

“The message is, we aren’t paying for any overruns,” Ford said during a city hall news conference Thursday.

“The province said they’re going to pay for it, they’re going to pay for it,” Ford said, adding that Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation “needed to be on the same page.”

Last week, Transportation Minister Glen  Murray said the government would put up $1.4 billion to build two stops at Lawrence and Scarborough City Centre stations.

The proposed route will be 6.4 kilometres long and will run from Kennedy along the current Scarborough RT route.

The money will fund only two-thirds of the subway line city council approved and is $400 million less than what was promised for the original plan to build light-rail transit (LRT) there

City manager Joe Pennachetti will be meeting with Metrolinx later Thursday, Ford said.

Ford had called the news conference to announce a drop in Toronto’s unemployment rate.

Last month, the city said it posted an unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent – the lowest it’s been since April 2008.

It’s also 2.9 per cent lower than the August 2012 rate of 10 per cent.

“This large drop in the city’s unemployment rate is great news for all Torontonians,” Ford said.

“There are now 58,000 more Toronto residents employed than a year ago, which shows that we have made our city much more attractive for business and employers.”

Coun. Michael Thomson, the chair of the economic development committee, said it has been a “very good year” for the city.

“Since January, our unemployment rate has fallen more than 2.5 per cent, and is now at the same level as the national average for the first time in 12 years.”