In February, the group that is now called Gardiner East Transparency sent a letter to City Council about the need to have an updated financial report on the Gardiner East. That letter was signed by 35 groups, including many TCAN member groups.
It is now time to follow up since the Gardiner issue as now been added to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee agenda for March 20th.
Please take a few minutes to write a letter to the IEC chair and councillors THIS WEEK, if you can. Every letter will make a difference!
Let me know if you have questions.
The Infrastructure and Environment Committee will consider a request for a financial report from staff on the Gardiner rebuild project at its meeting on March 20th.
It is really important for the councillors on the IEC to hear from the public that we want them to reconsider the future of the Gardiner. We want financial transparency beginning with a report on the updated costs of the approved plan versus the alternatives, not only construction costs but foregone revenues of lands to be freed up.
The deluxe version of the Gardiner East rebuild passed by 2 votes in 2015 – yet most of the work has not been contracted yet, specifically huge new ramps for joining the DVP to the Gardiner which will cost more than $600 million.
In 2015 staff recommended an option that came down to the grade level. This option would also have left open some space for development – or green space.
We need to set a new vision for transportation planning in the city – one that prioritizes transit, cycling, and walking in place of reliance on private cars, in order to meet our carbon emissions reduction targets. Currently we are stalled on reducing transportation emissions. The message we send needs to match our commitment to a livable future.
We would very much appreciate it if you would send a personalized note to the councillors on the IEC. A click and send letter will not have the same effect as your personalized note. How much does the future of transportation matter to you? If it matters 10 minute worth then please send.
a. the public has a right to know the cost of this colossal project;
b. the public has a right to know (as recommended by city staff in 2015 or simple variation thereof) that would offer additional development space of an estimated 5 acres;
c. in light of the city's budget gap, the climate and homelessness crises, and shovel in the ground transit projects, we need to know what we are spending on the Gardiner -- and what we are potentially missing out on
d. since no contracts have been signed for the rebuild, it is a good time to assess the current costs
Personalize with your own reasons as to why this matters to you. A few words to introduce the asks and to close your letter will make a difference.
SEND YOUR LETTER TO:
To speak to the Committee on March 20th, please register by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reference: IE2.5 Gardiner
Address the letter to Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie and IEC members.
The clerk will forward your letter to the committee members and list it on the record of the meeting, and if you request it will hyperlink to your letter -that's your option.
FYI: Committee members are:
• Jon Burnside
• Mike Colle (Vice Chair)
• Jennifer McKelvie (Chair)
• Amber Morley
• Anthony Perruzza
• Dianne Saxe
FYI (for you to review, please don’t send to councillors, it will be presented Monday) – draft slide presentation
Note: People thought the Spadina Expwy could not be stopped - but it was stopped, mid construction at Eglinton Ave, saving the beautiful ravine below. Premier Davis responded to citizen pressure - and people actually sitting in on the roadway in front of bulldozers as I recall - so when we are told that the Gardiner is a done deal we shouldn't accept that this is fact. This council would not approve such a deluxe expressway rebuild now, why should we be stuck with the 2015 deal, that passed by 2 votes at the time, that is so expensive - when the main part of the work has not been contracted yet. This issue will be live during the election, and mayoral candidates should declare whether or not they will revisit the Gardiner rebuild - and this financial report, being requested hopefully at the meeting on Monday March 20th, will give the new mayor the information they need to consider whether or not it is possible to prevent the construction of the huge ramps. Do look a the slide show (still in draft form) for photos, to get a closer look. It is a huge amount of money and deserves a rethink. I'll be making a deputation on Monday and that's an option - but for right now getting 100 personal letters sent is our goal. I'm hoping TCAN members can submit several letters. Please bcc me at email@example.com so I can see how we are doing on the numbers. And please share with your group if you can!
Come and join us for a ride for Gardiner East Transparency:
Thursday March 16, 5:30 pm Yonge & Queen’s Quay
See for yourself the area slated for the rebuild. Led by Albert Koehl of Gardiner East Transparency (GET) and Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition