Ontario government might cancel high speed rail between Toronto and Windsor
Remember when the government promised that we'd all be able to zip back and forth between Toronto and Windsor in just two hours on a high-speed train by 2031?
Yeah, that might not happen after all.
Doug Ford's PC government announced this week that it is considering "alternatives" to the planned, multi-billion dollar, high-speed rail corridor running through Canada's most densely-population region.
Proposed by Ontario's previous Liberal government, the plan would have seen trains moving at 250 km/h between Toronto and London by 2025. An extension to the very bottom of Ontario (where Detroit begins) was scheduled to come along six years after that.
Robust, quick and efficient public transit is always needed, especially in Southern Ontario where the population continues to grow.— Progress Canada (@Progresscdn) November 22, 2018
But the Ford government may scrap the high speed rail from Toronto to Windsor. #onpoli #cdnpoli https://t.co/djNr4RJmQf
New provincial Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek said in an interview with the Canadian Press this week that the his party would not halt the ongoing environmental assessment set in motion by Kathleen Wynne.
Instead, they'll be expanding the scope of the assessment to include such alternatives as increased Via Rail service, higher capacity buses or improved highway infrastructure.
Yurek also said that a separate federal advisory board for the project has been disbanded. A report released by that report in 2017 concluded that there was a strong business case for the corridor, noting that it would take some pressure off the heavily-travelled Highway 401.
The rail corridor would also free up air travel capacity and spur regional development, according to the report, in a stretch of Ontario that accounts for 60 per cent of the province's economic activity.
I'm a full supporter of @fordnation but I'm not against high speed rail. Done properly, it could definitely be a real boon to southwestern Ontario, and truly make us "Open for Business"!— Meat Hook (@TheMeatHook2k) November 21, 2018
"We have not yet heard if this project will go forward. We only know the team assigned to this project has been dismantled, and we have no timeline for their review," said Liberal politician Marie-France Lalonde to CP when asked about the high-speed rail line.
"We hope that this government takes a long-term approach, instead of relying on short-sighted cuts."
On behalf of the legions of Torontonians who travel frequently to Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph to see family, conduct business or attend university... me too.
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