Conservatives, NDP vow Toronto subway funding Subscriber content – The Globe and Mail

Conservatives, NDP vow Toronto subway funding Subscriber content - The Globe and Mail
Trudeaus post-debate handshake with Scheer tells its own story
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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, seen here on Oct. 8, 2019 in Markham, Ont., made the announcement while in the Toronto suburb.

The Conservatives and NDP both say they would help fund two new subway lines in the Toronto area that local mayors say are needed to deal with an overburdened transit system and traffic gridlock, while the Liberals are staying mum on whether they would also back the projects.

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer made the announcement Tuesday morning in Markham, Ont., a city that is part of the suburban swath of ridings north of Toronto and key to the Conservative campaigns election hopes on Oct. 21.

"We recognize the cost of living is a real challenge for northerners and we will continue to be there to work with them to bring down the costs of everyday lives," Trudeau said. The Liberal platform promises more money for Nutrition North, a subsidy program for healthy foods in dozens of northern communities.

Mr. Scheer pledged that if his party forms government, he will work with the provincial government to get shovels in the ground for the extension of the Yonge subway line north into York Region and the construction of Ontario Premier Doug Fords proposed Ontario line in Toronto. But the Conservatives didnt cost this election promise – something they have frequently criticized the Liberals over – and are not giving any guarantees of how much money they would give to the multibillion-dollar projects.

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took his campaign to Canadas North on Tuesday, pitching his plan to fight climate change in a region more affected by global warming than the rest of Canada — and that could have unusual importance to his political fortunes in a tight federal election.

In addition to the new subways, Mr. Scheer said he would “continue to fund all projects promised and committed to by the previous government.

It was obvious as the debate continued that both Trudeau and Sheer were NOT the kind of leaders that Canada needs now. Although [Jagmeet] Singh was eloquent….again thats not enough to lead Canada during the next few years. Elizabeth May made the most intelligent answers and was the most factual in her debating. She consistently refrained from mud slinging or rhetoric and was entirely believable, honest and capable in her comments, [questions] and answers, one commenter wrote.

NDP spokeswoman Nina Amrov said the New Democrats would allocate the necessary funding to ensure the subway lines are built as long as Toronto identifies them as transit priorities.

The loser in all this was Andrew Scheer. The Conservative leader needed to have a big night, after a week in which his reputation was pounded by his opponents for the alleged lack of transparency on his resumé, his views on issues of conscience and his nationality (…) If the Tories lose this election, putting a price on carbon is an issue they will have to revisit or risk being left looking like a BlackBerry in an iPhone world. – John Ivison, National Post

Mr. Fords government has been bickering with the federal Liberals over a lack of funding for its signature subway project for months. The province only unveiled the preliminary concept for the Ontario line in April and Ottawa said it needed more detail before it could make any formal commitments.

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Trudeau Liberals face battle over pocket books in Ontarios 905 region

On Tuesday, the Liberals refused to guarantee that they would also fund the subway lines and instead pointed to a statement from Ontario Liberal candidate Marco Mendicino.

In the first weeks of the 2019 election, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer received an unexpected gift: images, then a video, showing a younger Justin Trudeau wearing blackface makeup, which as Trudeau explained on the Radio-Canada Sunday night talk show Tout le monde en parle, caused grief and sorrow among supporters he spoke to — leading to apologies that could not erase the hurt and disappointment the Trudeau actions had caused.

We are ready to support infrastructure projects; were just waiting for the Ford government to show up,” Mr. Mendicino said Tuesday.

In a statement, Mr. Fords spokeswoman, Ivana Yelich, said the province hopes all federal parties commit to supporting our full subway expansion plan for the Toronto region. But Mr. Fords project still remains in the very early stages of planning.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and his wife Jill get off their campaign plane as they arrive in Toronto, Tuesday, October 8, 2019. NDP leader Jagmeet Singhs campaign plane is pictured in the background. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Video: Election causing rift between federal and provincial Conservatives: source

Meanwhile, city and provincial officials have also been locked in complex talks over Mr. Fords plans to take over the ownership of the citys subway system, starting with newly constructed lines.

Scheer is pledging his partys support for the expansion of the Ontario Line and the Yonge Subway Extension, which he says will shorten commute times to the GTAs northern suburbs and across congested east-west routes.

Conservatives promise funding for 2 major transit projects in GTA

The Yonge subway extension and the Ontario line proposal (which replaced the downtown relief-line project from the city) were part of the $28.5-billion transit plan that Mr. Ford unveiled earlier this year.

Winning this region involves swinging votes by a couple percentage points and the Liberals are playing defense versus 2015, when Trudeaus Sunny Ways mantra of hope appealed to Canadians wanting change after nearly a decade of Conservative rule, Wiseman said. He anticipates lower voter turnout this time, especially among younger Canadians, which favors the Conservatives since they tend to gain the older vote.

For years, suburban municipal politicians have pushed for the Yonge Line extension, and previous governments have also pledged to build it. Toronto Mayor John Tory and other critics have long pointed out that adding more riders to the jammed Yonge Line, by extending it north, was a recipe for disaster without building another subway, such as the relief line or Ontario line, to divert commuters coming from the east.

Mr. Fords plan would have them built at the same time, projecting an opening date of 2027 or 2029 for the Ontario line, and 2029 or 2030 for the Yonge extension. His plan also endorses more stations for the Scarborough subway extension, and a tunnelled extension in the citys west end of the under-construction Eglinton Crosstown light-rail line.

There was NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s suggestion on a climate change plan: “You do not need to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny. There is another option.”  Conservative leader Andrew Scheer scored repeatedly on Trudeau by noting that he fired the only Indigenous justice minister and suggesting Trudeau’s interest in Ontario politics may want him to go live there. And Trudeau (who had a horrific night — generally at the hands of Scheer) did fire back with the double-barrelled quip:  “Mr. Bernier, your role on this stage tonight seems to be to say publicly what Mr. Scheer thinks privately.”

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Trudeau campaigns in Iqaluit on investments, presence in the North

Canadians pride themselves on civility, especially when it comes to our political discourse. So it’s not so surprising to see rivals Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer, flanked by a smiling Maxime Bernier and clapping Elizabeth May, shaking hands while wearing heavily glued-on grins after the only English-language debate of this campaign to feature all major leaders. The subject of their conversation—like the moment Scheer realized being an American was a bad thing and the exact number of times Trudeau has worn blackface—will remain one of the mysteries of this campaign. But you don’t need to be a psychologist to detect the tension. Scheer’s expression seems to be taunting the Liberal leader (“Oh ho, I really got you there when I said you should run for the Liberal leader of Ontario!”), while Trudeau is perhaps thinking, “Maybe if I shake your hand the way I shook Donald Trump’s, people will conflate you two?” The only other visible face belongs to Bernier, who, let’s be honest, just looks happy to be there. Canadians may not have learned much about the depth of any party’s platform, but if nothing else, the night was a good bit of political fun for those who care about such things. All within the realm of civility, of course.

Video: Singh defends stance on Bill 21 after debate

Christie Blatchford: I missed a Leaf game for this debate? (They lost, just like Trudeau)

Check Macleans.ca every weekday of the election, as writer Michael Fraiman dissects an image that tells a story from the campaign.