Stop Diesel Trains: Postcards from the Edge

We are at an important juncture in the fight for electric trains. We need to keep the pressure on the Ontario Government, so that they follow through on the recommendations of their own 4 million dollar study to electrify the Georgetown Rail Corridor and do not purchase diesel trains in February 2011. This issue could easily get lost among the political priorities, somewhere between suburban transportation needs and the Pan Am Games. The best way to keep the pressure on is through letters, emails, phone calls and other communications. With an election on the horizon, voters’ words have power. To this end, our friends at Stop Diesel Trains have created postcards that can be mailed to Premier McGuinty. The cards have a simple but clear message:

Dear Premier McGuinty

I am a citizen and voter, and I do not want my tax dollars used to buy diesel-powered trains for the GO/Metrolinx Georgetown expansion project.

Before they sign contracts in February 2011, STOP Metrolinx from purchasing dirty diesel trains for the sake of a two week event - the 2015 Pan Am Games.

No to short-term, misguided solutions for Toronto's long-term transit needs. YES to sustainable options and foresight."

You may have received one of these postcards in the mail over the weekend. A large number of cards and postage stamps have also been dropped off at Angel's Café at Symington and Wallace. If you would like additional cards, please contact Stop Dirty Diesel Trains at or Junction Triangle Rail Committee at Below we have included a list of Ontario politicians who also enjoy receiving letters and phone calls from concerned constituents.

Premier, Province of Ontario,
Rm 281,Legislative Building, Queens Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Tel: (416) 325-1941 Fax: 416-325-3745

Ministry of the Environment
12th Floor
135 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto ON M4V 1P5
Tel: 416-314-6790 Fax: 416-314-6748

Minister of Transportation
Ferguson Block 3rd Floor
77 Wellesley St W
Toronto ON M7A1Z8
Tel: 416-327-9200

1359 Davenport Road
Toronto ON M6H 2H5
Tel: (416) 535-3158 Fax: (416) 325-9961


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Events at Metrolinx Demonstration and Board Meeting

There were more than 100 demonstrators in front of the YMCA this morning. There were also various media outlets (Globe and Mail, City TV, CBC, etc.) and politicians of various stripes, including Cheri Di Novo (MPP for Parkdale-High Park), Andrew Cash (Federal candidate for Davenport), Frances Nunzita (Councillor Ward 11) and Adam Vaughan (Councillor Ward 20). My understanding is that Ana Bailao (Councillor Ward 18) was also there, but I can't confirm that. At the demonstration, we were also told that Mayor Ford has written to the Government asking for electrification. Mysteriously absent from all of this activity is Tony Ruprecht (MPP for Davenport).

After the demonstration, some of the demonstrators went to the Metrolinx Board meeting where it was announced that the Board was unanimously recommending electrification to the Government. This was met by cheers from the crowd, and it is definitely a small victory. This suggests that the Government should have been listening to electrification advocates 7 years ago.

After the Board meeting, Cheri Di Novo invited the demonstrators back to the Legislature for a press conference in the media room. Speaking at the media conference was Cheri Di Novo, Stephen Dorsey (from Stop Dirty Diesel Trains) and Mike Sullivan (from Clean Train Coalition).

The one thing that was clear from the media conference is that the Government's position has not changed as a result of the recommendations coming from the Metrolinx Board. The Government is still planning on buying diesel trains in February to meet their commitment to the Pan Am Games (a two-week sporting event). What has changed is that the government is now paying lip service to electrification, promising it will happen in the future. Promising, however, is not the same thing as making it happen.

Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne told reporters today, “I think it’s consistent with what the electrification study showed. This is an aspirational end state that we’d like to see in the future.” My personal opinion is that with language such as “an aspirational end state,” and with uncertainty about the political future of the Province, we can’t let the Government build diesel trains, because we will be stuck with them into the indefinite future. As voters and taxpayers, we need to ensure the Government follows through on their own recommendations to electrify.

Thanks for the updates, i

Thanks for the updates, i just sent him an email. How many people showed up this morning at the YMCA?