Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Bill 171 opens door for privatized delivery of transit

Published on June 2, 2020

The Ontario Government is moving forward with Bill 171, The Building Transit Faster Act.

This is what the bill does 

Bill 171’s purpose is to speed up the delivery of four transit projects: the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. 

Bill 171 does this by:

  • Giving the province the power to take over municipal assets, like a road or a subway line.
  • Speeds up expropriations and reduces residents ability to contest expropriations.
  • Allows the province to jump to the front of the queue and move utilities when it suits them instead of coordinating carefully with utilities and the city. In practice, this means a road might be dug for a transit project and then dug again a year later to replace sewage lines because the province didn’t want to wait.  
  • Additionally, in a separate regulatory move, the Ford Government is further weakening the environmental assessment process for transit projects, giving residents less say than they already do.

This is why we’re worried

Our region needs good transit service today and we need to build transit right to meet future needs.

Doug Ford says he cares about helping commuters. Yet, Doug Ford is refusing to fund transit now. You can’t say you care for riders but ignore the riders you already have.

Doug Ford says he wants to build transit fast. Yet, Doug Ford scrapped the sensible, shovel-ready Relief Line in favour of a privatized Ontario Line. This is setting transit construction back years.  

This Bill is Doug Ford’s attempt to make up lost time by making it faster and easier for private companies to rush transit construction at the expense of neighbourhoods, businesses and common sense. 

This is what we are calling for

Build transit right.  Transit should be publicly owned and maintained, and cost a TTC fare to ride. Ford must work with residents, businesses and municipalities to ensure the best routes are chosen, construction disruption and noise are minimized, and businesses are compensated for damages. 

Ford should expand the underground section of the Ontario Line to include the route from Pape and Danforth to south of Eastern Avenue. 

Help riders today.  Doug Ford must fund transit service today so riders can have more service now. We shouldn’t have to wait a decade for the bus to get us to our destination on time. 

Help the economy recover. Transit lines should be built with binding community benefits agreements so neighbourhoods can benefit from good local jobs, public space, and more. 

Have your say

If you are interested in appearing before MPPs at the Committee to share your opinion on Bill 171, please see the information below: 

  1. The Committee will hold public hearings on Bill 171 at Queen’s Park on:
    Mon 8 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
    Tue 9 Jun – 10:00am-12:00pm AND 1:00-6:00pm
    Wed 10 Jun – 9:00-10:15am AND 1:00-6:00pm

  2. The deadline to request to appear is Thu 4 Jun, 10:00am. The process to apply to appear before the Committee is here - https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees

  3. The deadline for Written Submissions: Wed 10 Jun, 6:00pm. The process to submit written submissions is here - https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees

  4. You can also contact Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney:

    Minister Mulroney  995 905-895-1555 caroline.mulroneyco@pc.ola.org

    Premier Ford 416-745-2859 doug.fordco@pc.ola.org

    Please cc-me at jbell-co@ndp.on.ca so we can keep you up to date on transit issues.