Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto Sun- Former Ford staffer sparks subway questions

Vague predictions by Mayor Rob Ford’s ex-chief of staff about subways have left more questions than answers.

But Ford said he “can’t comment” on what Nick Kouvalis meant when he spoke last Friday.

“The subway deal is .. close,” Kouvalis said, adding “Transit City is alive and well and it’s going to be buried underground.”

Transit City was the light-rail transit (LRT) above-ground plan promoted by Mayor David Miller, which the Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty promised to bankroll.

Ford opposed the Transit City plan and is promoting his “Transportation City” subway dreams.

Asked Sunday for clarification, Ford said “Nick Kouvalis is no longer my chief of staff.”

Mayoral assistant Adriene Batra said her boss “is waiting” for a TTC-Metrolinx report, predicting “that will be very soon.”

Options are being explored, but tunnel-boring equipment “has already been bought,” she said. “We need those machines.”

Councillor Norm Kelly, a TTC commissioner, said he thinks Kouvalis meant “the big picture of Transit City is the big picture of transit still alive.”

Differing only on subway trains versus LRTs, “ironically, Ford and Miller shared the same approach,” Kelly said. “Let’s tackle this city-wide instead of doing this piecemeal.”

Councillor Josh Matlow said he interpreted Kouvalis as meaning Ford and McGuinty must reach “some kind of compromise” on a realistic, “financially-feasible” plan.

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