Go big or go home.

It hardly matters what level of politics you are contesting. “Go big or go home” are the watch words. The entire country witnessed the scenario through the recent federal campaign as the losers struggled with their old Bill Clinton-style “It’s the economy stupid” campaigns. They actually forced the Liberals to take a different tack. It was the tack that won the country. The best example before that though was John Tory’s campaign for mayor of Toronto last year. His SmartTrack transit plan was an excellent example. John Tory went big.

The really smart thing about it was that it was hardly perfect. It needs further assessment and lots of tweaking to make it work. What the quibblers do not realize is that no matter how much they might doubt the plan’s feasibility at least John Tory is trying to solve the problem. If anyone does not know there are serious gridlock problems in the city, they have never driven anywhere there.

The beauty of the plan is that by routing it on the Ontario Government’s GO right-of-way rail line, it is already part of the planned electrification of GO. Additional stations can be added at which the GO trains do not necessarily need to stop.

The real coup for Tory in the SmartTrack proposal is the extension to the Mississauga airport corporate centre. He can easily leave the problems and the funding for that portion to Metrolinx, Mississauga and the province while getting the credit. It looks like it will also be the saviour of the Union-Pearson Express that might find itself integrated into the plan as just another surface subway route.

One of the biggest surprises last year was when Timmy Hudak and his Ontario Conservatives took a really good plan to give beer sales to convenience stores and then scrapped it to offer to fire 100,000 civil servants. Going big is not a Conservative thing!

While Wynne was smart enough to make a deal with Quebec for some of that province’s hydro power, she has still not seen the light on the Windsor-Quebec City high-speed rail corridor. That is the ‘Go Big’ coup that can win the hearts and minds of Canada’s two major provinces. It can be the tie that binds them into the future. It is a joint venture that gives them a future.


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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