The 2014 Toronto Mayoral Race may be well underway, but for Scarborough residents, it’s only just beginning.
Scarborough has become the central topic of a heavy debate involving transportation, and it’s pretty clear that the residents of Scarborough want some sort of subway access, and are willing to vote accordingly.
Chris Glenny has been a Scarborough resident for 35 years. In the 2010 election, he voted for Rob Ford. In the upcoming election, he plans to vote Ford again; this time supporting Doug.
“They both have the same vision,” Glenny said. “Scarborough hasn’t had any kind of proper public transit since it became a city. There is 65,000 people that live here, and they all stand outside in the winter at a bus stop, or a bus shelter waiting for some kind of transportation. We need a subway.”
Most Scarborough residents seem to agree. In a recent poll conducted by Forum Research, when Rob Ford was running, he was in a distant second behind John Tory with only 28 per cent of the vote in all of Toronto. However, in Scarborough he was trailing behind John Tory by only two per cent; 41 per cent of the vote supporting him.
Glenny says he will not vote for John Tory despite his Smart Track plan to bring transportation to Scarborough along existing lines. He believes that the lines aren’t central enough to serve all of Scarborough.
“He wants to put it along the GO line…. that’s not going to help Scarborough,” Glenny said, “They have to come up the middle of Scarborough somewhere to take a lot of the people in the centre downtown.”
Scarborough resident, John Kricfalusi, 23, agrees with Rob Ford’s plan.
“I liked Ford’s transit plan the most,” Kricfalusi said. “When it comes to using the GO…. I think Ford’s idea was better.”
According to Forum Research, Olivia Chow’s support dropped to only 11 per cent in the Scarborough poll, most likely because she wanted to scrap the subway idea altogether and stick with LRT lines.
“Everything should be underground,” Glenny said, “We have the infrastructure, we have the digging ability to do it. An LRT is just a longer, glorified version of a streetcar. If you don’t want streetcars downtown, why do you want to bring them to the suburbs?”
Support for the Fords increased slightly the week Doug Ford put his name on the ballot. According to Forum Research, he has taken a strong second place with 34 per cent of the vote, only seven per cent behind Tory. Another poll conducted by the company says that eight out of 10 Rob Ford Supporters will transfer their votes to Doug Ford.
The transportation debates are far from over, but it is clear that Scarborough is willing to fight for what they want, and they want a subway.