Toronto Subway Security Plan Falls Short Due to Budget Troubles

Plan to place security cameras around subway and on buses on hold as funding falls far short


Additional security cameras in Toronto's subway system, and on its buses, have been put on hold in a move underlining how this city's transit agency is being shortchanged by the federal government.

Councillors on the budget committee decided not to allocate money toward cameras after the Toronto Transit Commission received just $1.4 million from a $37 million national fund meant to beef up transit security.

That doesn't come close to covering the $14.4 million price tag for putting security cameras on the TTC's 1,500 buses. And it falls well short of the $5.8 million needed to expand subway surveillance. The nation's busiest system deserves better.

Cameras deter ordinary criminals. That is why the TTC has used them for years. And in a post-9/11 era, when systems in cities such as London and Madrid have been targeted by terrorists, with tragic results, video surveillance can be an important tool in cracking terror cells.

Ottawa's Transit-Secure funding program recognizes the need but hasn't delivered the TTC's fair share of money. Canada's largest mass transit system must not be shunted aside in matters of public security.