Tess Kalinowski (The Toronto Star):
Toronto region commuters would get the largest share of an NDP government’s 20-year national transit funding plan.
The party is committing $12.9 billion over two decades to the region’s infrastructure, including $7.7 billion that would be targeted exclusively to transit projects, if the party forms the next government following October’s federal election.
The Toronto-area funding is part of the NDP’s 20-year Better Transit Plan that includes $1.3 billion annually for infrastructure across the country over 20 years.
“Canadians are increasingly frustrated as they make their way to school or work each day, faced with congested roads, packed buses, trains or streetcars and subways in need of upgrades . . . Every minute spent commuting is time not spent with your family or friends,” NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said on in Edmonton on Friday.
Mulcair is promising to eliminate the Canadian deficit while rolling out the infrastructure program he says will create 54,000 construction, manufacturing and transit operation jobs.
The Toronto area would get $1.6 billion of $7.2 billion in funding that the NDP says would flow in the first four years if it forms the government. That money is separate from other pledges such as housing.
It would be up to municipalities and provinces to determine their project priorities.