Dec 03, 2015

Mayor John Tory says he is optimistic that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government will follow through on the funding promised to big cities like Toronto during the federal election campaign to help build green infrastructure and improve transit.

Tory is attending the international climate change summit in Paris, where he will take part in discussions with big-city mayors from around the world.

Money from the federal government is crucial to help Toronto build transit, deal with waste issues and retrofit buildings to make them greener, Tory said.

“Mr. Trudeau ran on a platform of cities in many respects, obviously tying in a lot of it to climate change and environmental issues,” Tory said Thursday. “I’m absolutely convinced he is genuine when he says he wants to invest in cities and a big part of that is public transit and infrastructure.”

During his campaign, Trudeau said his party was “fully committed to the federal share” of SmartTrack, the $8-billion transit plan touted by Tory. The federal government is expected to provide $2.6 billion.

Though he doesn’t know when and how that money is coming, Tory said he is confident Trudeau will deliver on the election promise.

“I’m optimistic about everything I’ve seen so far that he’s going to follow through on that and help us make the investment we need to make,” Tory said.

It will be difficult to get Torontonians to give up their cars until there is a convenient and affordable public transit option, he said.

“In Toronto we took a couple of decades off in building transit and now we are starting to put our funds in place to build transit in partnership with the other governments.”