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Was transit talk derailed with the premier?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford left the first official meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty without any pledge to fund his subway-based transit plan.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford left the first official meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty without any pledge to fund his subway-based transit plan.

Ford suggested to reporters he now believes he only needs the support of his hand-picked Toronto Transit Commission board to scrap the city’s rail-based Transit City plan, and not a vote from full council.

Ford told reporters he thanked McGuinty for agreeing to pay the city about $52 million to cover half of Toronto’s costs for the Ontario Works welfare program.

He also lauded the premier for repeating that the province is ready to stop collecting Toronto’s $60 vehicle registration tax Jan. 1, should Ford get it scrapped at next week’s council meeting.

But it appears there was little or no detailed discussion about the biggest friction point between the two governments: the future of Transit City and Ford’s insistence that billions of dollars McGuinty has pledged to build it be diverted to Ford’s transit plan.

After Ford declared Transit City “over,” the province suggested it would consider amending the provincially funded transit expansion if city council asked for change.

 
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