Josh Matlow calls for inquiry into Eglinton Crosstown delays

Delays on Eglinton Crosstown an unacceptable burden on businesses and residents

May 16, 2023 – In response to today’s announcement that the Eglinton Crosstown will not be opening in 2023, mayoral candidate Josh Matlow issues the following statement: “Torontonians are completely and rightly fed up with yet another Metrolinx delay on the Eglinton Crosstown. It is unacceptable that a transit project that was slated to open in 2020 does not have an opening date three years later.

Everyone understands that a new transit line causes disruption, but businesses planned on an in-service date that has been pushed back again and again. Many local shop owners have had to close, while countless others are at the breaking point. Metrolinx must compensate shop owners who have been financially impacted. Local transit riders, left on slow-moving buses for over a decade, should have their fares paid by Metrolinx while riding on Eglinton routes.

Metrolinx stated that the Public-Private-Partnership (P3) with Crosslinx would ensure that the Crosstown is delivered on time and on budget. More than a decade later, the project is years behind schedule and billions over budget. Crosslinx has shown more interest in suing Metrolinx than actually building transit.

Why did the contracts Metrolinx signed with Crosslinx allow so much exposure to the public? Why weren’t the penalties stronger for delays? Why weren’t businesses and local residents better protected from construction impacts? Torontonians deserve answers to these questions and a full accounting of what has gone so drastically and unacceptably wrong.

I am calling on the province to move quickly on launching an independent inquiry into the Eglinton Crosstown. With construction on the Ontario Line already underway, we must ensure lessons are learned so other Toronto residents and businesses don’t suffer the same fate as those along Eglinton.

As Mayor, I commit to never using the P3 model to build infrastructure, including construction of the Eglinton East and Sheppard Extension LRTs in my Scarborough Moves plan and the City’s Waterfront LRT.”