Doug Ford’s government commits billions to highways despite the devastating impact on public transit

Shawn Micallef

Shawn Micallef is the Toronto Star political columnist and host of the podcast Politically Speaking.

Doug Ford’s government is spending billions of dollars on highways — fast lanes for The Hills, straightaways for Rexdale, food courts for Scarborough, parks and festivals for Etobicoke, etc. What are the chances they are going to spend any of that money for transit? Do Doug Ford’s aides have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the electoral map?

Citywide projects, such as building light rail along Sheppard — or building light rail along the downtown relief line for poor people, no one is talking about it, and the landscape would look the same, better, more uniformly white, worse for the smell and all the other stuff that is casually thrown at cities to make us nicer to live in. That’s why “rural transit” is so controversial. It means huge, semi-derivative projects that benefit everyone but the minority who use public transit. And in fact, in Toronto’s case, it means government trying to subvert the constitutional rights of people who do not use transit to make them vote for a guy who says he wants to spend billions of dollars on highways for mostly suburban voters, without a hint of what suburbs could use or where.

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