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Province willing to drop subway upload if council endorses Ontario Line: report

Last Updated Oct 9, 2019 at 11:08 am EDT

A TTC subway train enters Spadina station. UNSPLASH/Jed Dela Cruz

Officials with the Ford government and the City of Toronto are reportedly negotiating a deal that would see the province abandon its push to take ownership of the subway, if the city endorses the Ontario Line.

According to the Toronto Star, the province will drop its planned subway takeover if Mayor John Tory pushes city council to support the contentious $11-billion Ontario Line.

The line would take the place of the downtown relief line and run from Ontario Place to the Ontario Science Centre.

Premier Doug Ford announced the province’s plan for the Ontario Line in April, instead of the Downtown Relief Line that the city had been planning.

The Ford government is reportedly seeking the change so that $3.2-billion in federal funding can be reallocated to the Ontario Line.

Shelagh Pizey-Allen, executive director of the group TTC Riders, told 680NEWS her group opposes the upload of the subway system to the province and she believes the premier hears the peoples’ complaints.

“I think that premier Ford has heard, loud and clear, from residents that this is not a good deal for transit riders,” she said.

“Now we need to make sure that mayor Tory doesn’t agree to bankroll any bad deals and that he stands up for what’s in the best interest for Toronto.”

Neither Ford’s or Tory’s offices would confirm the report.

Council is expected to vote at the end of the month on whether to endorse the Ontario Line.

The provincial upload of the subway was included in Ford’s election platform, stating that the province is better able to expand transit when it comes to getting regulatory approval and finding the funding. But that upload has been opposed by council, the NDP and the TTC workers’ union.