February 10, 2015
Toronto city council voted this morning not to send questions asked by Coun. Josh Matlow about the Scarborough subway extension back to the executive committee, effectively ending any possibility of reopening the debate.
Late last month, Matlow submitted the questions to city staff and council, which focus largely on the sunk costs of the project and how Mayor John Tory’s SmartTrack plan might affect ridership.
Council could have voted to forward the information to the executive committee, who could have then theoretically decided to reopen the debate about the controversial project. Instead, they voted to receive the information, essentially meaning it will go no further and will remain shelved.
Among other concerns, Matlow has said he wants to know how Tory’s plan for an express train from the Agincourt GO station — part of SmartTrack — could reduce ridership on the three-stop subway extension championed by former mayor Rob Ford during his term in office.
Council originally approved the project in Oct. 2013, months before Tory unveiled his SmartTrack plan heading into the municipal election last year.
Tory has made clear he had no desire to continue debating the subway extension. On Monday, Tory pointed out that since the project was approved, there have been three elections — a federal byelection, and a provincial and municipal election — won by candidates who support the subway extension.
He is also said that many of the answers Matlow is seeking are already available and have been considered by council.
“The vast majority if not all the inquiries he’s made are fact and information that are available in other reports that have been put forward and I expect a lot of the answers he’s going to get are answers that have been put forward previously,” he said.
Tory also said that SmartTrack will not eliminate the need to the Scarborough subway.
Also on council’s agenda this morning is a request from Tory for more money to continue studying SmartTrack and how it can be implemented.
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