POLITICS

John Tory To Pitch SmartTrack To Federal Leaders In Ottawa

02/17/2015 08:32 EST | Updated 04/19/2015 05:59 EDT

Toronto Mayor John Tory is heading to Ottawa today to pitch his SmartTrack transit plan to federal leaders and garner support for increased co-operation between the city and the federal government on housing and infrastructure.

Tory is scheduled to meet with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.

Tory already met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a surprise one-on-one sit down at Toronto Pearson in December. Tory used that opportunity to appeal directly to Harper for support on funding and constructing SmartTrack.

During the first session of the year last week, city council approved $1.6 million in funding to study the implementation of SmartTrack, which was the foundation of Tory's municipal election campaign. The plan will cost an estimated $8-billion, and Tory hopes to have it built within the next seven years.

Tory has repeatedly stressed the need for increased, stable and long-term funding from the federal and provincial governments for transit and affordable housing projects in Toronto. At the Big City Mayors summit earlier this month, Tory said he hopes to use the upcoming federal election as leverage to secure commitments from the federal parties.

The mayor will hold a press at 11:30 a.m. this morning before he leaves for Ottawa. He is set to return tomorrow.

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