Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

September 14, 2010 10:45 ET

Smitherman Digs Himself Deeper With Tunnel Flip-Flop

Former MPP George Smitherman Supported Tunnels For All

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2010) - George Smitherman flip-flopped on yet another important issue yesterday, criticizing Rocco Rossi's visionary plan to get Toronto moving forward with a Toronto Tunnel.

Smitherman's new position on tunnel projects contrasts starkly with previous statements he has made on the issue.

As Infrastructure Minister in Dalton McGuinty's Government, Smitherman was a vocal supporter of the city of Ottawa's efforts to construct a $4 billion tunnel for buses and light-rail directly beneath its downtown core.

The Ottawa Citizen reported that Smitherman was "impressed" with Ottawa's tunnel plan – and was even willing to help pay for it (Ottawa Citizen, September 12, 2008).

Smitherman even played a role in the planning of Ottawa's tunnel, holding meeting with city officials, planners and Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien (Ottawa Citizen, August 27, 2008).

Smitherman's record of supporting tunnel projects extends beyond his time as Infrastructure Minister. In 2009, Smitherman was a Minister in the Ontario Government which supported the $1.6 billion "Big Becky" tunnel under the Niagara Escarpment (National Post, March 21, 2009).

Even during his Mayoral bid Smitherman has backed tunnel projects. He promised to extend the proposed Eglinton LRT tunnel further west than Metrolinx's initial plan called for (Toronto Star, May 29, 2010).

George Smitherman's new position on tunnel projects is just another in a recent string of flip-flops.

Over the recent weeks, it has become clear that George Smitherman will say whatever he thinks will get him elected – a common attribute of the career politicians that Rocco Rossi has tackled with his plan to take back City Hall.

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