Rail Committee: Letter to Andrea Horwath, NDP

The following letter was sent from the Junction Triangle Rail Committee:

March 1, 2013

Ms. Andrea Horwath, MPP
Leader, New Democratic Party of Ontario
Room 113, Main Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A5

Re: Invitation to Meet Re: Diesel Train Service Expansion in West Toronto

Dear Ms. Horwath:

Like a number of residents in the Junction Triangle in West Toronto, I am disappointed by the actions of the provincial government related to the expansion of diesel train service and the Pearson airport rail link on the Georgetown South rail corridor.

Residents along the rail corridor have been vocal in their support of electric trains. Your party and local NDP representatives have been actively campaigning on the issue for “Clean Trains Now” with lawn signs, petitions, public rallies and even a Private Member’s Bill.

You can imagine our disappointment with your party for missing two recent opportunities to make electrification government policy in exchange for supporting a Liberal minority government. Placing tax policy changes and auto insurance reductions ahead of electrification contradicts the long-standing policy statements of your members from Davenport, Parkdale-High Park and Trinity-Spadina of electric trains “now.”

There are many good reasons to expand public transit, but nothing suggests rushing to install diesel technology in time for a two-week sporting event will have any benefit for the people in West Toronto forced to live with this legacy for the next generation.

Could we arrange a time to meet with you and your transportation critic to discuss this matter? Many thanks for your consideration.


Kevin Putnam
Junction Triangle Rail Committee

Cc. All members, Junction Triangle Rail Committee
Davenport MPP Jonah Schein


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Andrea Horwath Meeting

In response to our letter above, members of the Junction Triangle Rail Committee and the Clean Train Coalition were invited to meet with Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath this afternoon. (We owe a huge thanks to Davenport MPP Jonah Schein for arranging the meeting.)
The frank discussion, while appreciated, revealed the limits of NDP support for electrification. The New Democrats are prepared to be "noise-makers", but electric trains are up to the government we were told. There was no promise to make the issue a condition for future support of the Liberal minority government or a clear explanation of why they have already passed on two opportunities to make electrification government policy now.
Not a great day for the campaign or anything resembling a step forward.

NDP Supports Driving Over Transit?

Gotta scratch my head here.

The NDP seems more interested in making it cheaper to drive than to provide comprehensive transit for people of all incomes.

A DRL and electric system would provide affordable relief for a few hundred thousand west enders for local, express, and airport travel just as every transit expert has stated, in fact even Metrolinx's own electrification study has stated.

The inferior diesel system will be an even greater white elephant that when the Tories buried the Eglinton Subway years ago (Hudak was there by the way and so was Fords Dad). We have an opportunity to reverse panicked planning and create a really usable expanded airport service because frankly the Liberals need the NDP to survive.

Andrew and Jonah I believe do want to see this happen.

The NDP leader stood in our community and pledged to push for a superior transit system that would not increase cancer causing emissions in the west end. Was she trying to shake the Liberals or just trying to shake hands ?

When it comes to the election Gods, they give, and they taketh back.