Is there any question that our cities are in desperate need of funding? Certainly not, as a water-main at the north-end of our riding explained to us this morning:
Traffic was restricted on Yonge St. south of St Clair Ave. this morning after the pavement sagged near a broken water main.
Toronto police closed the road around 8 a.m. at Summerhill Ave., near the Summerhill subway station, to investigate the sagging asphalt. Toronto Water had been investigating the leak since yesterday afternoon.
Police said water from the broken pipe left an open hole in the ground.
Over the past few years, under the parties of the past, governments of all stripes have cut funding to municipalities while simultaneously downloading responsibilities. This morning’s incident is just one example of the sorry state of our city’s infrastructure, and the severe lack of long-term thinking displayed by our current political leadership. As a result, we’re now paying more to deal with incidents like this than we would have paid to invest in cities in the first place. (To get a sense of how much more, try and wrap your head around this report’s finding that one billion dollars’ worth of drinking water disappears into the ground every year in Ontario alone due to “rotting, leaky municipal water pipes.”) Meanwhile, our federal government sits on giant surpluses while telling Toronto to “drop dead,” in the words of a recent Star headline.
It’s time for new ideas. It’s time for a party that takes long-term planning seriously. It’s time to invest in our communities and build the great city we know Toronto can be.