Home Canadian News Mayoral candidates spar over transit affordability at Scarborough debate

Mayoral candidates spar over transit affordability at Scarborough debate


Three candidates vying to unseat Mayor John Tory in the upcoming municipal election laid out their plans to make the TTC more affordable at a transit-focused debate Wednesday evening.
Tory was absent from the event at the University of Toronto Scarborough, which was co-hosted by advocacy group TTCriders, the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, and the Scarborough Civic Action Network. His campaign cited a scheduling conflict with a fundraiser at an Etobicoke golf course earlier in the evening.
Jennifer Keesmaat, whom polls indicate is Tory’s strongest challenger in the Oct. 22 vote, began her remarks by taking a veiled shot at the mayor’s absence. “I have to say there is nowhere else that I would rather be this evening than in this room, talking about and debating transit, because it’s so critical to our city,” she said, to applause from the audience.
Keesmaat, who served for five years as the city’s chief planner before stepping down last fall, slammed what she described as the past two administrations’ inaction on getting new projects built.
“Our problem in this city is we have been wasting time … We’ve been drawing up plans on the back of a napkin,” she said.
She touted her own “network plan,” which would prioritize the relief line subway and remove city funding for the Scarborough subway extension, but is mostly similar to the council-endorsed plan already on the books.