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McGuinty Pulls a Bait and Switch?

Toronto Mayor David Miller is upset that the province’s $355 million commitment to the TTC isn’t as lucrative as it first appears.

Back in March, the Toronto newspapers blared “A Billion Dollars for the TTC” over a federal/provincial announcement of funding. This funding turned out to be a three-way commitment split between the province, the federal government and Toronto. The provincial share of the money for the first year of funding amounted to $70 million.

According to this article from the Globe and Mail, the money announced by the province of Ontario replaces the announced funding of last March, rather than augmenting it. The province has basically announced twice on the same dollars.

Moreover, the current funding comes with strings attached. Months ago, in protest over the province’s underfunding of the TTC, and as a disagreement over funding formulas, the City of Toronto refused to pay its assessed portion of GO Transit’s capital budget. To qualify for the newly announced funding, the City of Toronto must commit to funding GO Transit. Mayor Miller calculates that these strings reduce the level of new funding for the TTC to roughly $26 million.

The monies do increase in the second and third year, a source of predictable funding that peaks 60% ahead of the monies promised in 2001, but the fact remains that Dalton McGuinty hasn’t yet lived up to what he originally promised.

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