City sued for alleged “war on cars”

The latest chapter in the St. Clair Right-of-Way saga isn’t exactly thrilling, as it seems most along that stretch have moved on and accepted a new reality. (Councillor Joe Mihevc, while admitting the process kind of sucked, has pointed out several positive outcomes now that the ROW is in place.) There’s still the small matter, however, of a class-action lawsuit, led by lawyer (and author) Stephen Edell. They’re trying to get 100 million dollars from the city, an outcome that would almost double the cost of the project.

This article by the Post’s Natalie Alcoba points out that Edell is using some of the mayor’s campaign talking points as part of his case against the city:

Beyond allegations of negligence, the suit also accuses the former council of engaging in a “war on cars” that “is not a proper exercise of authority of a government in a public works program,” said Mr. Edell.

He alleges the city “turned a blind eye” to the businesses in peril in what he described as a “negative twist on the concept of gentrification.”

City officials “may not have started intending to destroy St. Clair West, west of Bathurst, but as the project started to drag on, and businesses failed, it dawned on them that this was a good opportunity to turn St. Clair around, to improve the tax base,” said Mr. Edell.

He expressed surprise that city litigators are seeking to throw out the case, given that Mayor Rob Ford has often referred to the St. Clair “fiasco” on the campaign trail.

via $100M St. Clair right-of-way case heads to court | Posted Toronto | National Post.

It should be noted that this is a lawsuit partially in response to delayed construction. Construction that was itself delayed by another lawsuit.

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