Premier Kathleen Wynne and What Her Election Means for Transit

Discussion in 'Transportation & Infrastructure' started by TheTigerMaster, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Senior Member

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    Kathleen Wynne was elected Premier of Ontario on the weekend and she has already begun talking transit:

    I hate to use the TO Sun as a source, but they were the only one reporting on this.

    Anyways, Wynne was by far the most pro-transit candidate and if she can avoid another election she may be able to do great things for transit in the GTHA. Any ideas on what her election means for transit?
     
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  2. gweed123

    gweed123 Senior Member

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    My hope is that Metrolinx can speed things up a bit, and get the framework for these new revenue tools drawn up before the next Provincial election. Even better if they're already in place and generating revenue. Politically, it's a lot harder to backtrack on something that's already implemented.

    Personally, I'd like to hear what Andrea Horwath has to say on this, because it's going to be her propping up the Liberals. The more big issues her and Wynne have an agreement on, the longer the current government stays in power, and the longer the Metrolinx revenue tools have to come to fruition.

    One thing is for sure though: Metrolinx and Wynne are going to need to go on a PR blitz to tie revenue tools with the 'next wave' projects. I think rational people (ie not hardcore NeoCons) will be much more likely to support these new revenue tools if they can see exactly what the money is going to. If they're in Peel Region, showcase the Hurontario LRT. If they're in Toronto, showcase the DRL. If they're in York Region, showcase the Yonge extension. They need to tie the tax to the result, otherwise it'll just be seen as a cash grab.
     
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  3. W. K. Lis

    W. K. Lis Senior Member

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    Technology, Kathleen Wynne is premier-designate until she is formally sworn in, likely in February by Lt. Governor David Onley.
     
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  4. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Senior Member

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    Getting through to NeoCons is always hard. But I figure that if the Liberals can explain that a single streetcar takes a whole block of cars off the road (there's a photo of this somewhere on UT) and that Subways and LRT take off dozens of times more, they can convince Conservatives that any money lost due to a tax hike will be more than offset with saved gas money.
     
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  5. Johnny Au

    Johnny Au Senior Member

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    TTM, I had requested that photo in another thread. I moved the photos here:
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  6. nfitz

    nfitz Superstar

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    For GO and Metrolinx? Pretty much the pre-election status quo. Wynne was Transport minister for almost 2 years during 2010 and 2011, so she'd already on board with what there long-term plans are.

    This is probably the best outcome possible for GO. We shouldn't be seeing any cancelling of GO projects/service like we did under Premier Miller or Premier Rae. Or the downloading we saw during Harris. And positive for local transit as well, given that Wynne seems to be more interested in it than some of her colleagues.

    And it should provide some stability with the government as Howarth has already made noises about working with Wynne, and Wynne has made it clear that she doesn't want an election ... so we have 2-3 years for some significant progress until the next election in 2015, or possibly 2016.
     
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  7. Peepers

    Peepers Banned

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  8. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Senior Member

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  9. Peepers

    Peepers Banned

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    Road tolls are a terrible idea because only the rich can afford to pay them. That leaves the average Joe to make his way to work on clogged secondary roads. It would be a disaster if the Gardiner or any other highway in the GTA was tolled.

    Wynne says that the province needs new revenue streams to pay for transit. The fact is we wouldn't need these new streams if the Liberals hadn't looted tens of billions of dollars from the province through scams like green energy - e-health - ornge - cancelled power-plants to save Liberal seats - lucrative contracts for the already overpaid and under-worked teachers that put them into power and on and on
     
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  10. nfitz

    nfitz Superstar

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    How could she rule it out? Metrolinx has been legally required since about 2008 to report on various financing options in 2013, and come up with a plan forward. Surely it would be a bad sign if she was trying to sabotage that. Not ruling it out, isn't ruling it in.

    Why would you want to force potentially the most transit-friendly Premier since ... since ... well probably since Davis out? Do you think Howarth would do better for transit? (presumably you wouldn't consider Hudak as being good for transit, given his promises to yet again cancel Eglinton).

    That makes no sense. The average Jane can afford 20¢ to 30¢ a km in vehicle costs, but only the rich could afford another 5¢ a km more in tolling? I'm not sure tolling is the solution - and it probably isn't. But your argument is lacking any basis.
     
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  11. M II A II R II K

    M II A II R II K Senior Member

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    There will be talk of new plans and nice maps to go with them, until the next set gets released.
     
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  12. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Senior Member

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    Wynne was a key part of creating the current maps. I doubt much change will happen.

    I am becoming increasingly confident that the current minority government will last until at least early 2014. Horwath seems more than willing to cooperate with the Liberals, and Wynne is emphasising that she is willing to cooperate as well. While I have no doubt that the liberals will lose the next election, I doubt that election will be before 2014, and well after the transit tax is implemented. (thank god)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
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  13. CDL.TO

    CDL.TO Moderator

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    This seems like a bad move on the part of Wynne. Frankly, I'm surprised that she commented on the issue.

    Up to this point, Liberal politicians had avoided stating any preference for any particular outcome. With Metrolinx's current public engagment and the conversation about congestion and transit occuring in the media, it seemed like they were hoping that answers about acceptable levels of funding and least-unpopular fuding tools could arise through those channels. This method would result in a good "the people asked for it" solution that the PCs and NDP could potentially also endorse since those taxes and/or fees were never proposed by an official of the Liberal party.

    By stating preferences, Wynne is ensuring that new fees and/or taxes will be seen as Liberal policy. Bad idea.

    "Metrolinx proposes new taxes, Premier says she will discuss with Mayors and opposition leaders." versus "Premier proposes new taxes."
     
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  14. nfitz

    nfitz Superstar

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    I'd be shocked that if Metrolinx actually does report on time in 2013, that the taxes would be in place in 2014.
     
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  15. pman

    pman Active Member

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    Since:
    1. rapid transit projects will have 50-100 year lives, if not longer
    2. long-term interest rates are really low

    Why can't we consider a long-term funding solution for transit, where a provincially-guaranteed agency borrows the money very long-term (which probably means 30 years) with a 50-year plan to pay off the debt via a mix of GTA road tolls, additional taxes on parking spaces and perhaps an additional GTA gasoline tax. The notion we have to pay for transit out of general provincial revenues is pretty much a guarantee we'll never build anything more. And the idea that we can only pay as we go for projects more or less ensures we'll never build anything remotely adequate.
     
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