Why Ford’s Scarborough Subway is a Winner

I predict that Mayor Ford with the able support of TTC Chairman Stintz, and all the Scarborough councillors will secure majority support on Toronto City Council for a revised deal with Metrolinx.

A deal in which Metrolinx will replace its Scarborough LRT proposal with a new and improved subway extension of the Bloor-Danforth line, from Kennedy station to Scarborough Town Centre.

I also predict that the Wynne government will find some extra cash (between $500 million to $925 million) to fund this Scarborough subway alternative.

Premier Wynne may be imperious, insensitive and arrogant, but she is not politically stupid.

Scarborough is vote rich.

Margarett Best’s Liberal provincial seat (Scarborough Guildwood) is up for grabs in the upcoming by-election on August 1, 2013. Wynne cannot afford to lose this Liberal Scarborough seat.

Opposition leader Tim Hudak is on record of being in support of subways.

The proposed Scarborough subway will be a campaign issue in this upcoming by-election in Scarborough.

And Wynne and the Liberals will lose this seat, unless she and the Liberals go all in.

That means working with Ford, Metrolinx and the TTC in funding this Scarborough subway option.

You know this Scarborough subway option is a winner, when two long time Ford critics, Marcus Gee of the Globe and Royson James of the Toronto Star, grudgingly give Ford credit for getting out ahead of this subway option.

Though James can’t bring himself to believe that Ford will actually win support for this very doable subway solution.

Royson James implies that this Scarborough subway proposal is a good idea, but he questions whether Ford has the political acumen to secure Council, Metrolinx and Ontario government support.

“With leadership skill, fostered cooperation, careful management and political acumen, a mayor can guide council into a final and clear position on this file. But we’ve seen this movie before.”

Marcus Gee, on the other hand, astutely nails the political upside for Ford, Stintz and Wynne. He states in his Globe article why the Scarborough subway is a political winner for the above parties.

“Instead of running on the complaint that Scarborough is getting a raw deal, Mr. Ford could claim to be actually achieving something for commuters there. Ms. Stintz could run on a similar, positive message. As for Premier Kathleen Wynne, the leader of a minority government in the midst of contesting a by-election in Scarborough could do worse than support a Scarborough subway, especially given that her main rival, Conservative Tim Hudak, has a pro-subways platform.

In practical terms, the Scarborough subway would offer a one-seat ride to and from downtown, avoiding the time-consuming transfer to an SRT. Construction could proceed while the existing SRT was still in service, so commuters would not be stuck on the bus while the SRT was rebuilt.”

Marcus Gee astutely concludes,

“And, yes, this last-minute twist in the transit saga adds uncertainty and threatens more delay, but in the grand scheme of the region-wide transit rollout, this is a relatively small and worthwhile adjustment.”

This is also a winner for Ford because politically tone deaf leftists on City Council such Josh Matlow (St. Pauls) and Gord Perks Parkdale-High Park) don’t see the necessity of providing a subway transit solution for the long-suffering Scarborough residents.

And the necessity for the Ontario government and potentially Toronto, bearing the additional costs for this subway option in Scarborough.

Just chalk up their blindness, myopia, selfishness and insensitivity to a case of SWAG ( smug, white, affluent gentry) disease.

You see in Ford’s political gut, he knew his downtown Toronto critics were SWAGS at heart.

They don’t like or “get” his suburban followers, his notorious Ford Nation.

And that is why his loyal fans in Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough, love Ford and will walk through walls for this guy.

And that is why Ford has a fighting chance to be re-elected in the next mayoral election.

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