During the latest City Council session on January 30, a mighty crew of terminators – Josh Matlow, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Paul Ainslie and a few others – tried to kill the city financing for the proposed Scarborough subway line. Sitting comfortably in the Council hall, I filmed most of the debate and was going to post it online.
It was painful to listen to Matlow’s endless ramblings about why he doesn’t like the project. They revolved about some vague ideas about resolving the congestion of the downtown line, then he confidently stated that the people in Scarborough didn’t need a subway because they had an efficient LRT, which could be expanded.
Councillor Doug Ford confronted him saying that it was unbelievable that Scarborough, with a population of over 600,000 people would not have a subway, while York University would soon have its own subway station. He added that as soon as you get out of downtown and enter Scarborough, you’ll notice that when people wait for public transportation – be it LRT or bus – they do it in the open space, often freezing in the winter. You can see the rest of the debate in the video below.
It didn’t take long to experience for myself Doug Ford’s grim description of the Scarborough transportation problems. A mayoral debate was scheduled for 7 p.m. today at the Scarborough Campus of the University of Toronto.
However, it started snowing last night and continued for the most of the day. Armed with my confidence in the overpaid TTC crews, I left for Scarborough from my downtown station at 5:40 p.m. The trip to Kennedy Station (from where I had to take Matlow’s favourite Scarborough LRT) usually takes less than 35 minutes.
This time it took over an hour – the train stopped twice in the tunnel and even more times in the open areas. I reached the station at 6:50. Frankly, I wasn’t surprised to find out that the LRT – the perfect solution for Scarborough – was out of service. The problem was the snow on the rails that still hasn’t been cleared. The TTC (Toronto’s public transportation company) generously offered shuttle buses to cover the LRT route.
Though advertised as “frequent,” the busses were scarce and overcrowded with long lines of shaking and trembling people waiting in the cold. Considering the fact that I had to take another bus from the last station of the LRT, it was more than clear that I couldn’t make it to the debate before it finishes.
I just hopped in the downtown-bound train – without waiting in the cold. But the people who live in Scarborough didn’t have that choice – they could only wait and wait, exactly the way Doug Ford described it.
If the motions of the Downtown Party succeeded to kill the Scarborough subway, that would surely leave plenty of money to finance: homosexual exhibitionists to expose themselves at the “world pride”; queer anti-Semites; countless overpaid union positions; bicycle lanes; useless grants for useless people, and whatever other weird ideas the twisted minds of the downtown Councillors could conceive. Only one thing is sure – in their elitist world of gay bars, subsidized galleries and latte coffee shops, there is no place for the unwashed masses of Scarborough or their subway.
Isn’t it time to shovel them out of the City Hall, just like today’s snow?
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