Transit talks dominates Chow, Tory debate

LRT and the Scarborough subway were discussed at the National Club & Churchill Society

Transit issues took over the majority of a mayoral debate at the National Club between Olivia Chow and John Tory.

The debate, held on Wednesday at lunchtime, was hosted by the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy.

Tory opened the debate offering his support to Mayor Rob Ford and his family.

“I think he would have relished being here with us,” Tory said.”All of us will be having some thoughts and prayers for Rob Ford and his family.”

He proceeded to discuss the dysfunctional and frustrating issues that exist in city council.

“Traffic with all forms of recommendations that do not get implemented that will need to be resolved,” he mentioned.

Chow introduced her platform by saying she’s different than the other candidates.

“This campaign reminds me of the old ‘Sesame Street’ song ‘One of these things is not like the other,” she said.

Chow said her campaign was one based on ‘action’ and that the future mayor needs to act soon.

“We need someone to take action again,” she said. “Not tomorrow or 10 years down the road. We need action now.”

Chow promised to follow through on recommendations by transit experts and build the LRT line. She also mentioned that transit needs to be funded through taxes.

“We have to pay for what we want,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense to say that we want to invest billions of dollars and not find a way to pay for it.”

Tory, in contrast to Chow, said he would build the Scarborough subway and SmartTrack if voted.

“I would get moving with SmartTrack. By in large it uses existing GO Train tracks and electrifies them. It connects people to jobs,” he said.

The next mayoral debate is set to take place at the University of Toronto in association with the school’s student union.