Author: Joyce

The Tories’ failure to lead in key areas is not a result of a lack of leadership

The Tories’ failure to lead in key areas is not a result of a lack of leadership

Will John Tory’s ‘prudent’ leadership be tough enough to tackle Toronto’s big issues if he’s re-elected? | Opinion

The news media’s narrative is that the Tories’ failure to lead in key areas has left them with no room to manoeuvre. But what the news media ignores is that the challenges facing urban areas are not a result of a lack of leadership, but a lack of political will; they are the result of a lack of leadership and, therefore, of political will.

For the past three months, the Tory government has been pushing the message that they will continue to be constructive in the Toronto region, particularly in the area of transit. On Nov. 24, the government released a report titled “Roadways to Relevance” that outlined the government’s five-year strategy for “transit-oriented development” that would prioritize transit as the primary mode of urban infrastructure in all areas of the city, and as a key for economic development.

A few weeks later, in a speech at the recent Toronto Region Board of Trade Conference, the minister of finance, Vic Fedeli, outlined the government’s plan to build up Toronto from a city of five million people to one with 50 million people over the next decade. Fedeli said the plan is for “economic development and growth.” But that means that the government must be responsible for the infrastructure that supports economic development and growth. At the same B.C. Board of Trade Conference, the chair of Metrolinx, the province’s provincial transit agency, announced that the $3.8 billion investment that the province had planned to give each transit agency as part of its regional transit fund for Toronto was cancelled because the government was not able to approve the funding plan. However, the government is continuing to fund the $750 million subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre, and has committed $1.5 billion for the Gardiner Expressway, which would be built in three phases, as well as $638 million for a rapid transit system in Toronto’s downtown.

This is the most the government has done in terms of an urban renewal initiative of any type in Canada. Of course, the government announced a large-scale transit plan in its last budget with the intention of building a downtown subway. (The plan

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