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Toronto Calls Special Council Meeting to Consider Streetcar Deal

The City of Toronto has just issued a media advisory calling a special council meeting to be held on Friday at 10 a.m. The meeting will take place, the advisory says, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, Room 105, North Building. The meeting will likely discuss the state of funding for the streetcar deal between Toronto and Bombardier; an offer which expires this Saturday.

While the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario have stepped forward to commit to 2/3rds of the cost of the purchase, hoped-for funding from the federal government covering the remaining third has yet to materialize. Recently the Minister of Transportation, John Baird, poured cold water on Toronto’s hopes noting that the purchase did not meet the criteria the federal government set forward for stimulus funding. In a letter to Toronto’s mayor, copies of which were sent to council, Baird suggested that Toronto could apply for stimulus funds to cover other infrastructure projects in the short term, using the municipal funds saved to cover the remaining cost of replacing the streetcar fleet.

Only time will tell if Toronto is able to secure federal funding for its purchase, or if it will step up and cover the remainder of the cost from its own budget.