Ford's Subway Scheme Stopped Dead In Its Tracks

Yesterday was a bad day for Toronto mayor Rob Ford as his quest to see a proposed streetcar for Sheppard Avenue East replaced with a subway to to Scarborough was dashed by the City Council. Kelly Grant has the details.
March 23, 2012, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Toronto's first-term mayor Rob Ford suffered a decisive defeat yesterday in his fight over the future of transit in the city, as "City council voted 24-19 in favour of building a $1-billion light-rail line on Sheppard Avenue East, scuttling Mr. Ford's promise of a subway to Scarborough."

According to Grant, "The decision came despite Mr. Ford making two passionate pleas for underground transit on the second day of a special transit meeting. In one of his most animated speeches since taking office, Mr. Ford shouted: 'People hate the St. Clair. They hate these streetcars. You can call them what you want. People want subways, folks. Subways, subways. They don't want these damn streetcars blocking up our city.'"

The light-rail vote was the latest in a series of defeats handed to Ford by the City Council, "which already this year has swept his allies off the Toronto Transit Commission, revived most of his predecessor's light-rail network and watered-down his budget."

In a post for Spacing Toronto, John Lorinc was more direct in his appraisal of Ford's political fiasco. "The Great Subway Battle of 2012™ was Mayor Rob Ford's to lose, and he lost it with such single-mindedness and determination that this episode may well go down in Toronto history as the textbook example of political self-immolation."

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Published on Thursday, March 22, 2012 in The Globe and Mail
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