Mayor calls Sheppard transit report 'hogwash'

[attach]5604[/attach]Even prior to the release of a report recommending light rail transit for Sheppard Avenue, Mayor Rob Ford dismissed it as “hogwash.”

Speaking with reporters at Don Mills Station ahead of the 5 p.m. press conference with residents group Subways Are For Everyone, Ford made it clear he is not budging from his subways-only stance, saying council should take its approximately $1 billion in earmarked provincial and federal funding to begin adding an eastern extension to the Sheppard subway line, station by station.

“The plan is to get a shovel in the ground as soon as possible and take it from there,” he said, later adding work on a subway could begin “realistically by next year.”

Several councillors, including TTC chair Karen Stintz, have said they are waiting to see the advisory panel report — released today — before deciding what plan to support but have warned there isn’t a viable funding plan in place for a subway along Sheppard.

Ford is adamant subways must be built first and then revenue will stream in.

“I know we have money for two to three subway stations to start, and then the investment will come,” he said at Don Mills Station.

“We know what the report is going to say, it’s just a bunch of hogwash, I listen to the people out here, not a handpicked, biased panel.”

Council will vote on Sheppard transit options at a special transit meeting on March 21.