MTO Minister refuses to answer for approving backyard GO station

Minister ignores direct questions as to why MTO overrode Metrolinx analysis

On the day the Premier is testifying at the Sudbury court trial, the Minister of Transportation is further disappointing Ontarians with his, “continued attempts to dance around political influence questions only breed more concern for Liberal ethics and corruption of process” according to Ontario PC Transportation Critic Michael Harris.

Harris questioned the Minister, Steven Del Duca, on his refusal to comment on the historical details surrounding his office’s approval of a $100 million GO Station in his riding – Kirby Station – that a Metrolinx business case had already rejected.

“There’s something seriously wrong when the Minister is approving backyard GO stations that Metrolinx warned would drive commuters out of their train seats and back onto the road,” Harris charged in the House this morning. “Will the Minister come clean and admit [a recent Star editorial] was right…and that this was just a ‘crass effort to garner votes?’ “

When the Minister attempted to dodge the questions of ethics by implying that a recently announced Metrolinx review would determine the fate of the station, “going forward”, Harris refused to let him off the hook.

“No further review, nor Minister assurances he’ll listen to Metrolinx station recommendations “going forward” can cover up questions as to why he didn’t listen to the same experts when his direction tried to drive us backward,” declared Harris.

With longer travel times, fewer passengers, more highway traffic and losses predicted by the original Metrolinx analysis, Harris has written the Auditor General and will be following up on a request for a full value-for-money audit on the GO station decision-making.

“Life is harder in Ontario after 14 years of this Liberal government, and the Ontario PCs believe it’s time for a change for the better,” added Harris.