New Democrats call for increased accountability and oversight on critical projects
QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Infrastructure critic Jennifer French (Oshawa) and Toronto Centre NDP MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam are calling for increased accountability and oversight from the province as critical projects procured under the public-private (P3) model see significant cost increases and delays — most notably the Ontario Line.
The cost increases and delays were revealed in Infrastructure Ontario’s latest market update. Affected projects include the Scarborough subway extension, the Yonge North subway extension, Highway 3, Highway 17, as well as major hospital projects in Kingston, Niagara, Mississauga, Brampton and Ottawa.
“Both Liberal and Conservative governments have too long favoured public-private partnerships, which are well-known for unexplained delays and escalating costs,” said French. “The Minister of Transportation needs to explain to Ontarians why these projects are already falling behind and why subway costs have more than doubled under the Ford government.”
The Ontario Line is especially delayed, with estimated costs soaring far past previous estimates. The update shows the final Ontario Line project agreement is being delayed two years to July 2026. And following the awarding of two Ontario Line P3 contracts this month, totalling an astonishing $15 billion, the estimated costs of all the Ontario Line P3 contracts have ballooned from $10.9 billion in 2019 to nearly $20 billion today.
“How many more cost overruns and delays are people waiting for transit relief going to see?” asked Wong-Tam. “We know what a nightmare businesses and residents have endured due to cost overruns and delays on the Eglinton Crosstown, and we don’t want to repeat the same mistakes.
“We are calling on this government to increase accountability and oversight over Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario, so transit riders won’t suffer high transit fares and poorer service while P3 financiers and private consultants get rich.”