Connect with us

Anglais

Doug Ford bogged down our subway, but he could yet lead the way to the TTC’s ‘better way’

Published

on

[ad_1]

To upload Toronto’s subway, or not to upload it, isn’t really the question.

For the answer is a foregone conclusion: Of course Ontario should do it.

Possessed of big pockets and the big picture, the province has long been better placed to own the TTC’s subway lines. Queen’s Park has the ability to bankroll — and borrow for — big capital projects, unlike Toronto’s restricted cash flow and perennial shortfalls.

The linkages in our interconnected megalopolis require us to expand subway planning beyond a Toronto-centric perspective. With the premier of the day directly accountable for subway expansion, he or she is more likely to fund a future relief line than plead poverty.

Opposition to this week’s move by the Progressive Conservative government — signing a framework with Toronto to figure out costs and benefits — shouldn’t blind us to the reality that it’s not just a PC idea.

“The province will begin discussions with the City of Toronto to determine whether provincial ownership of TTC subway lines could provide better transit services for residents in the GTHA, and allow for a better sharing of costs for transit expansion between the province and the City of Toronto.”

A perfectly sensible Liberal proposal. Premier Doug Ford couldn’t have put it any better this week, but he surely tried — promising to “cut through red tape to start new projects and finish construction faster.”

If it was a good idea before — and I’ve long supported it — why isn’t it a good idea now? That’s a better question.

Can the Tories truly be trusted to do it the right way, not merely the right-wing way, to bolster the TTC’s “better way?” Can the party that once downloaded services to offload expenses now be trusted to upload services and own up to the costs?

Can PCs who sold off the Highway 407 toll system, for a song, now save the day? How, exactly, will Ford keep his word?

There’s a reason the Liberals took forever to follow through with an upload, or fulfil past transit promises: cash crunches.

Even when the Liberals found the funding for an ambitious Transit City network — promising LRT expansion tailored to Toronto’s population density — it soon bogged down: Then-premier Dalton McGuinty postponed $4 billion in cash flow when his 2010 budget deficit exploded amid an economic downturn.

Then-mayor Rob Ford, backed by his brother Doug on city council, turned the fully-funded Scarborough LRT upside down by burying it underground — delaying construction and raising Toronto taxes to pay the additional costs. Which takes some of the air out of our current premier’s airy rhetoric about it being time to “speed things up.”

Lest we forget, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT (the trunk line of Transit City) is itself a model for this kind of co-operation, given that the TTC handles operations and the province holds ownership — precisely what is being proposed for the future. Either way, it’s all about the money, of which there’s never enough — not just for future capital spending but present-day operations and maintenance that is past-due.

There’s a reason Wynne’s last Liberal government went out on a limb (and jumped off it) by partially privatizing Hydro One, the much-reviled transmission utility that, in martyrdom, became a crown jewel. The Liberals didn’t do it out of ideology but necessity, convincing themselves that they needed the money for “asset-rotation” — selling off inanimate hydro lines to pay for badly-needed transit lines: copper wires for steel rails.

They sold off Hydro One because they also failed to sell the idea of road tolls to bankroll transit lines. The public wouldn’t buy it.

Where will Ford magically find the money to buy the subway from the city, while funding future maintenance that has piled up? He will surely borrow, but how shall he repay those loans while simultaneously vowing never to raise taxes (forgetting, for a moment, the Scarborough subway tax fobbed off on us by the Ford brothers)?

It’s the right question, but the premier has a dubious answer: The money will materialize out of thin air by selling off air rights to cash-rich property developers building new highrise towers.

Tories who style themselves prudent stewards of public finances have a mystical belief in the magic of no-money-down subway-building, bankrolled by future tax increments or perhaps present-day sell-offs. It’s a big, multi-billion-dollar gamble that not only risks massive shortfalls but massive delays in cobbling together the financing and breaking ground.

Conceptually, provincial ownership makes the most sense. In reality, the current provincial government rarely makes much sense

On balance, it is a balancing act. The best bet, for Torontonians and all Ontarians, is still for the province (no matter which party is in power) to proceed — with caution.

As for fears that a downtown relief line will be neglected by a government more focussed on the vote-rich suburbs, the opposite is surely true. We are long past the tipping point of subway congestion.

Any member of the PC cabinet who gets out of his or her chauffeured car to ride the rails knows that future subway expansion to the suburbs will be a dead end without a relief line in the big city to clear the way. Better that the provincial Tories learn this for themselves (or hear it from voters) — and be held accountable for it — than endlessly fobbing it off on Toronto city hall.

Martin Regg Cohn is a columnist based in Toronto covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @reggcohn

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Anglais

‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

Published

on

By

In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

Continue Reading

Anglais

MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

Published

on

By

MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

Continue Reading

Anglais

Birdhouse Wingerie & Bar is the Latest to Hatch in West Island’s Bubbling Restaurant Scene

Published

on

By

Wings are the thing at the latest restaurant to make its mark on Montreal’s West Island: Birdhouse Wingerie & Bar.

At the buzzy new Dollard-Des Ormeaux eatery, the bird limbs come aplenty, with a menu listing eleven “wet & messy” wings, including smoked apple habanero, sriracha lime, and cherry cola BBQ; and four — cacio e pepe, ketchups chip, Nashville hot, and the garlicky, lemon pepper “vampire slayer” — dry rub flavours. They come 10 for $18 or 20 for $34, plus the option of ranch, parmesan, or blue cheese dipping sauce.

Tacos, nachos, poutines (one made with bone marrow, another with tater tots), smashed burgers, salads, and a classic buttermilk fried chicken dinner are just sampling of the other dishes that round out the offering. On the drinks side, there are cocktails, sangrias, and spiked milkshakes in popular chocolate bar flavours: After Eight, Skor, Bounty, or Reeses.

Opened on July 5, Birdhouse is among a recent influx of restaurants to grace the island’s western end, including birria taco slinger Tacos Don Rigo and barbecue joint Smoke Box — a double whammy in the same Pierrefonds area strip mall. That comes in addition to plans for Fairview Pointe Claire’s incoming “District Gourmand” (slated to usher in Tommy Café), and, of course, a number of the area’s longer-standing stalwarts — from southern belle Bistro Nolah to old-school casse-croûte Smoked Meat Pete — that have helped bolster the West Island’s culinary credentials.

The brand-new Brunswick Boulevard restaurant is the brainchild of Montreal entrepreneur Lorne Schwartz, restaurateur George Massouras (of Madisons and Arahova Souvlaki), and among the other partners involved, Brahm Mauer, son of the founder of beloved buffalo hot wings expert Wings ‘n’ Things. Mauer has tried his hand at reviving the original Wings ‘n’ Things recipe — the restaurant originally opened in 1986 — over the years, including with a Royalmount Avenue location in 2012, then as a roaming summertime food truck and NDG pop-up. That same truck has now been made over with a Birdhouse-branded livery to be deployed for private events.

A likely draw to many, Birdhouse is reprising the “famous flavours, untouched” of the once-upon-a-time NDG staple, represented on its menu as “The Legendary WNT Buffalo” chicken wing.

Continue Reading

Chat

Mode2 jours ago

Louis Vuitton crée Charlie, sa première basket unisexe et écoresponsable

Mode2 jours ago

L’Événement Evening Dresses Show Retourne À Salerno Du 1 Au 3 Septembre 2021 Inaugurant La Saison Internationale Du Prêt-À-Porter

Mode2 jours ago

LVMH continue son ascension, tiré par son activité Mode et Maroquinerie

Mode2 jours ago

Mode: Carven va rouvrir aux Champs-Elysées, après des décennies de fermeture

Mode2 jours ago

Mode : les créations de Công Tri plébiscitées par les stars internationales

Mode2 jours ago

Birimian annonce le lancement d’un accélérateur avec l’Institut Français de la mode et la signature d’un accord exclusif avec WSN

Mode5 jours ago

Les propos du ministre Lagimodiere mettent l’équipe de Brian Pallister en difficulté

Mode5 jours ago

Aux grands maux…

Mode5 jours ago

Pour un référendum sur l’agrandissement de l’aéroport

Mode5 jours ago

Faire soi-même ses recherches, est-ce réaliste?

Mode5 jours ago

Cuba: la crise vue par la communauté cubano-canadienne

Mode5 jours ago

La rentrée sera compliquée

Mode5 jours ago

Moins d’argent au Québec pour les Autochtones qui souffrent de dépendance

Mode5 jours ago

L’autre chemin de la réconciliation

Mode5 jours ago

Libérez Mario Roy!

Mode5 jours ago

Pour sa haute couture, Valentino fait défiler à Venise les plus belles couleurs du monde

Mode5 jours ago

Fès-Stylisme: ESCOM célèbre son 30e anniversaire

Mode5 jours ago

Découvrez l’événement Homi : Le Salon de la mode, des accessoires et des bijoux qui se tiendra à Milan du 18 au 20 septembre 2021

Mode5 jours ago

Anatomie lance une collection complète de vêtements pour hommes – WWD

Mode5 jours ago

La marinière, une histoire à porter

Anglais3 années ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Salon du chocolat 2018: les 5 temps forts

Anglais3 années ago

This B.C. woman’s recipe is one of the most popular of all time — and the story behind it is bananas

Santé Et Nutrition3 années ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais3 années ago

27 CP Rail cars derail near Lake Louise, Alta.

Anglais3 années ago

Man facing eviction from family home on Toronto Islands gets reprieve — for now

Santé Et Nutrition3 années ago

We Try Kin Euphorics and How to REALLY Get the Glow | Healthyish

Anglais3 années ago

Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party

Anglais2 années ago

A photo taken on Toronto’s Corso Italia 49 years ago became a family legend. No one saw it — until now

Anglais3 années ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais2 années ago

This couple shares a 335-square-foot micro condo on Queen St. — and loves it

Anglais3 années ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Mode3 années ago

Paris : chez Cécile Roederer co-fondatrice de Smallable

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Ford Ranger Raptor, le pick-up roule des mécaniques

Affaires3 années ago

Le Forex devient de plus en plus accessible aux débutants

Anglais3 années ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Anglais3 années ago

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group in carbon tax court fight

Technologie2 années ago

YouTube recommande de la pornographie juvénile, allègue un internaute

Anglais3 années ago

Province’s push for private funding, additional stops puts Scarborough subway at risk of delays

Trending