Sisters and Brothers,
Today’s 2020 Ontario Budget makes it clear that the Ford government needs to do more to address municipalities’ urgent public transit needs. ATU Local 113 workers repeated their calls for the Ontario government to provide the City of Toronto and other municipalities with stable funding to keep transit moving during the pandemic in 2021.
The budget refers to transit as a “critical public service” but it announced no new measures to cover the significant budget shortfalls the TTC and other transit systems are facing in the new year.
The budget highlights the previously announced $4 billion partnership with the federal government to assist municipal transit agencies with COVID-19 related financial impacts. It also says this funding under the Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) is a “one-time assistance” to Ontario municipalities and public transit systems.
Our members appreciated that first phase of funding through the SRA, but the government appears to think the TTC’s financial troubles of 2020 will disappear in the new year.
ATU Local 113 also welcome the $62.7 billion over 10 years earmarked for the construction of new public transit projects. We call on the provincial government to keep transit public with all new construction to avoid the ongoing financial problems that plague the Eglinton Crosstown LRT P3 model.
The pandemic has put a spotlight on the TTC’s broken funding model. It’s another reminder that public transit needs more than fare box revenue.
As we prepare for a recovery, ATU Local 113 will continue to advocate for all level of governments to work together and develop a sustainable longer-term funding model for TTC operating costs.
President, ATU Local 113