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Hudak plans to scale back transit if elected: report

Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak speaks to CityNews on Jan. 24, 2013. CITYNEWS.

Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak said that if elected premier, he will scale back existing light rail transit plans to focus on subways.

Hudak made his comments to the Globe and Mail, adding he would be able to pay for subway extensions without raising taxes.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray said Hudak’s plan would negatively affect suburban residents and in a public statement, the Liberals accused Hudak of not doing the math.

“Hudak continues to make transit policy on the back of a napkin…he provided no details on the cost of cancelling planned projects, some of which already have contracts signed in Hamilton and the GTA,” a Liberal spokesperson said.

“This is reminiscent of their decision to fill in the Eglinton subway extension and firesale of Highway 407.”

The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that Hudak’s statements have also drawn criticism from Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. Mississauga and Ontario, through Metrolinx, have spent years working on an LRT plan for Hurontario Street. The plan, McCallion said, would alleviate gridlock.

New PC MPP Doug Holyday – formerly the deputy mayor under subway-minded Rob Ford – said that LRTs deprive cars of space. He told the newspaper he supports extending the Bloor subway to Sherway gardens.

Hamilton, meanwhile, is focusing on buses – not LRTs or subways.