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Will Rob Ford’s Sheppard subway fantasy die on March 15?

The long-running saga of Rob Ford’s Sheppard subway dream looks like it will finally reach a not-so-surprising conclusion. Council is now slated to meet in two weeks’ time to decide whether Sheppard will get a subway extension—like the mayor wants—or light-rail transit, which seems to be the consensus choice among pretty much everybody else, including an expert panel the Globe and Mail’s sources say is “leaning heavily toward recommending light rail.”

The Globe has more:

Mayor Rob Ford is making a last-minute bid to salvage his Sheppard subway plans, working behind the scenes to forge a compromise, but it doesn’t appear he’ll be able to win over enough councillors before a crucial vote March 15…

Mr. Ford also met Tuesday with at least two other councillors – former ally and TTC chair Karen Stintz and centrist Councillor Josh Colle. Those meetings came less than a week after the mayor invited two key swing voters, Ana Bailao and Mary-Margaret McMahon, into his office to see if they would consider new levies such as a parking tax or road tolls to help pay for a subway.

We have to admit we’re a little surprised to hear Ford is working toward a ninth-inning compromise after his recent displays of obstinacy. Of course, Ford has been offered several opportunities to compromise already and refused to accept any of them. His colleagues gave him an opening when they asked him to sign on with their light-rail plan, and John Parker said he’s open to a modest Sheppard subway extension that would connect to an LRT line. Unfortunately for Ford, his efforts may come too late: even Josh Matlow, council’s resident Switzerland, says the mayor missed his chance. Win or lose when the matter comes before council, though, we expect Ford to continue to beat the subway drum. He appears to believe championing that particular cause (even when it’s dead in the water) will give him a boost on the campaign trail in 2014.

Mayor Rob Ford’s subway dream for Sheppard could be dead March 15 [Toronto Star]
Ford bids for Sheppard compromise [Globe and Mail]
City council to consider Sheppard transit options in March 15 special meeting [National Post]

(Images: Rob Ford, Christopher Drost; Yonge-Sheppard subway, gloom)