Olivia Chow talks transit, run for mayor at York U
Will she or won't she?
Trinity Spadina MP Olivia Chow remains coy about whether or not she'll run for mayor of Toronto.
The New Democrat was at York University Thursday night to talk transportation. Chow was an invited guest of the school's Canadian Studies Program.
There was speculation Chow might use the occasion to make a statement about her vision for the city. But the MP's focus was on the big picture, her push for a national transit strategy ahead of the spring federal budget.
Chow says Canada needs to take a long term approach to transit planning, rather than 2-year stimulus projects. She would also like to see more predictability for municipalities on the funding they get for roads & transit from Ottawa.
Asked whether or not she was closer to making a decision on a mayoral run Chow said she's "seriously listening" to people encouraging her & to Torontonians about the issues they face. A Forum Research Poll done this week for the Toronto Star found that in a head-to-head race, Olivia Chow would beat Rob Ford for the mayor's seat with 52% support to his 40%.
Chow underlines that she already has a job, one she's intent on doing "properly". Although she loves Toronto, Chow says as an MP & as infrastructure & transport critic her focus is on ending the gridlock problem.
Chow suggests the crumbling Gardiner is a national issue. She says if the highway were to shut down, it would cripple Toronto's economy & Canada "will get hurt". Chow wouldn't float any possible fixes, saying that's up to the city, but says Ottawa has to be ready to help fund it.