Ontario’s Transit City slowdown has prompted Mayor David Miller to record a protest message. But where is deputy mayor Joe Pantalone, the one mayoral candidate who has said Ontario must honour its commitment to the light rail network?

Pantalone says he raises the issue everywhere he goes, but, for now, he’s content to see Miller take the lead on the issue with moves such as a recorded message played in subway stations, urging riders to complain to Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Sometime between now and voting day, Oct. 25, Miller’s presence will fade. At that point, Pantalone expects to become the defender of the multibillion-dollar transit plan.

He just can’t say when that will be. “It’s a hard question to answer. It’s a grey area.”

Advocates say Transit City could be a defining issue for Pantalone, just as Miller’s opposition to island airport expansion helped propel him into the mayor’s chair in 2003.