NDP supports Keep Transit Public campaign

TORONTO – The NDP is on board with a new push to Keep Transit Public – a campaign that has sprung up because the Wynne Liberals are moving to privatize new transit, which could mean higher costs for riders and less control over the transit system for Ontario.

“We know what the privatization of hydro did to Ontario families – let’s not let Kathleen Wynne do the same to the transit people count on,” said MPP Cheri DiNovo, the NDP’s critic for Urban Transit. DiNovo spoke at the launch of the Keep Transit Public campaign Tuesday morning.

The grassroots campaign aims to stop transit from being built as P3s, or Public-Private Partnerships. P3s are a form of privatization in which public services are delivered by private, profit-making consortiums. Ontario’s Auditor General said in 2014 that in just nine years, using P3s had cost Ontarians an extra $8 billion.

“Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals have been pushing privatization into public services, and that’s really let families down,” said DiNovo. “Of course, Patrick Brown isn’t the answer. He won’t tell us any of his plans, including his plans for transit, but he has always backed big Conservative cuts and privatization. That’s troubling to transit riders who want better service and more affordability – not service cuts and price hikes.”

Andrea Horwath and the NDP have promised to restore the provincial share of operating funding for transit in Ontario, helping municipal governments improve transit.

“Transit is a basic service,” said DiNovo. “Ontario families deserve transit they can count on, transit they can afford, and a leader they can count on to deliver that.”