In September 2008, the Metrolinx
board of directors voted to adopt a $50-billion transportation plan for the Toronto and Hamilton region. In June 2013, they’re going to tell the province how to pay for it.
In the meantime, Toronto's civic leaders are already mobilizing to become part of the conversation. In anticipation of the release of Metrolinx's 2013 Metrolinx Investment Strategy
, Toronto's CivicAction Alliance
—a multi-sectoral coalition of thousands of Toronto civic leaders—has launched the Regional Transportation Initiative
The initiative will bring together Toronto civic leaders with a stake in the region's transportation future. The coalition of business leaders, NGOs and citizens will work to support Metrolinx's 2008 Big Move
plan and the highly anticipated 2013 Investment Strategy
that will outline a plan to fund it.
Like many of the individuals and organizations she works with, Mitzie Hunter, CEO of CivicAction, believes in the importance, and the potentially transformative effects, of Metrolinx's Big Move.
But she recognizes that without secured funding, many of the plan's most important projects will never be implemented.
"We've got this good plan but so far only about 20 per cent of capital projects are funded," says Hunter. "That leaves almost $40 billion left to raise."
That's why, Hunter argues, it's so important to get civic leaders to support this initiative. "We expect [the 2013 Metrolinx investment strategy] to include new sources of funding that go beyond existing tax revenues. We want to be there to support that."
By the fall, CivicAction and their partners will reveal a campaign aimed at mobilizing support and awareness for the 2013 Metrolinx announcements.
Metrolinx was established in 2006 by the Government of Ontario
to "improve the coordination and integration of all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area." Read more information on the agency here
Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Mitzie Hunter, CEO of CivicAction