Feds, Province and City Need to Work Together to Ensure Safety for Motorists and Pedestrians
May 11, 2012
TORONTO – NDP Transport and Infrastructure Critic Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) is calling on the federal government to take a leadership role and work immediately with the city and province to fix Toronto’s crumbling Gardiner Expressway.
“For the second time this week, chunks of concrete have fallen on a major rush hour thoroughfare – this time, right in front of a vehicle,” said Chow. “The current state of the Gardiner is unacceptable. We can’t sit and wait until someone is seriously hurt – all levels of government need to work together and act now.”
While the City can’t guarantee the Gardiner won’t shed more concrete, it doesn’t plan on inspecting the overpass until July. But even if action is required, it can’t afford replacements or repairs without support from the federal and provincial governments.
“By cutting $350 million from the green infrastructure fund, and replacing it with a small $75 million new program, the cities are getting even less money to deal with their $133 billion infrastructure deficit,” said Chow. “This conservative government is just refusing to take responsibility for Canada’s decaying infrastructure and ensure basic public safety.”
MPP Jonah Schein (Davenport), the NDP critic for Urban Transportation, says Ontario, too, must come to the table and act immediately to address Torontonians’ safety concerns.
“The provincial government has an important role in supporting transportation infrastructure, and it’s time to take action before someone gets hurt,” added Schein.
Yesterday’s incident marks the fifth time that concrete has fallen from the Gardiner to the roads below. Earlier this year, the federal government had to be goaded by the NDP into replacing Montreal’s Champlain Bridge after refusing to release a report that raised safety concerns about the Conservatives’ original plan to repair the aging bridge.
“Across Canada, the federal government is cutting back on infrastructure investments when we should be moving forward. It’s time our cities get the help they need, and in Toronto’s case, that means urgent action and federal leadership,” said Chow.