Thursday, May 11, 2006

The wrong priorities

The Ontario Liberals are playing a dangerous game with the electorate. Dwight Duncan reckons Ontario can build the subway to nowhere II: revenge of the 905ers (subway to nowhere I was "Lastman's folly") without federal money.

A more sensible approach would have been to forget the grossly premature extension into Vaughan, at least until the Tories were strongarmed into giving up some dosh by their prospective candidates in Vaughan and build the bit that has an Environmental Assessment already complete. Busways and LRT, being far cheaper, will more than provide for commuters into York from the north and commuting into the core would be far more efficient by expanding GO service in addition to providing the better connectivity to York/Steeles. Even the Downsview-Steeles extension would be more than Steve Munro would go for, although I think that's excessively hairshirted.

Since it goes past the 407ETR maybe they could help fund it, then subway fares could go up and mysteriously neither Ontario or Toronto could do anything because "it was in the contract".

The danger is in talking as if there is loads of money in a week when the Liberals are coming ever closer to two-tier health care. The Liberals have floated allowing patients who can afford it access in Ontario to bleeding-edge drugs while poorer patients get the old ineffective ones. They have already introduced the Ontario Health Tax without re-instating a single one of their OHIP cuts, despite evidence that eye and dental tests are useful indicators of other medical problems.

The Liberals are merely building on the naked electioneering that the Vaughan subway is combined with the creation of a "fake deficit" this year to be "eliminated" next year. Now Duncan says, no problem - we have contingency funds we can spend on it. How about eliminating the deficit with those Dwight? Maybe they think that John Tory's shocking lurch to the right since he became leader of the Ontario PCs and his consorting with Harper will save them from any stupidity they try out.
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