Please join Mike Sullivan, MP York South-Weston, for a Community Townhall Meeting to discuss the Georgetown-Union Station/Air Rail Link
When: Thursday March 8, 2012, at 6:30 pm
Where: York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Rd.
Please join me on March 8th as I provide a community update and impact on Weston as Metrolinx gears up to officially begin construction on the Air-Rail Link later this year.
Guest Speaker: Jonah Schein, MPP Davenport & Ontario NDP Transportation Critic.
Metrolinx/GO Transit will be holding a meeting June 9, 2011 at 1901 Weston Road to advise the community on the results of its Human Health Study.
Much has happened since the last update. Metrolinx staff has recommended to the Board of Directors that the Lakeshore and Georgetown lines be electrified, starting with the Air Rail Link. That is good news. However, there are a number of problems.
The Clean Train Coalition is planning to demonstrate at the Metrolinx Board Meeting next Wednesday. If you can spare a few minutes to attend, that would be great. The Board Meeting Agenda includes the electrification Study, and the recommendations. We want the Board to adopt the recommendations, and question the timing.
Join the Clean Train Demonstration at the Central Y, 20 Grosvenor St Wednesday January 26, 2010 at 8:30 am. (N of College, W of Yonge)
The Metrolinx Board is meeting to make recommendations to the provincial government regarding electrification. This is a crucial time for us to demonstrate to Metrolinx and the Provincial government that we are not willing to accept any increased pollution in our neighbourhods.
Friends and Neighbours,
Much has happened.
Many thanks to the hundreds of you who took part in the Human Train event three weeks ago. It was a rousing success. Many walked the entire route from Weston, to Mount Dennis, to the Junction, to the Wallace Bridge, to Sorauren Park, and finally to Trinity Bellwoods. It made lots of press, and got the attention of the important folks at Queen’s Park, we hope.
While that was going on, Metrolinx was sending two leaflets to what we think was over 100,000 homes along the corridor. Those leaflets suggested that the Medical Officer of Health had reversed his opinion on the trains (not true) and that your health would be protected by Metrolinx’s plan (also not true). We are puzzled as to the extremely large expenditures of public money on these leaflets when the public comment period was long over. So we have formally complained to the Ombudsman of Ontario, André Marin. We are concerned with both the misleading content of the leaflets, and the fact that they were distributed at all, when they could not have any influence on the decision of the minister.
Finally we got the decision of the minister. He approved Metrolinx’s overall plan, with some conditions. Of course the most widely reported feature of his decision was the condition that they use only Tier 4 diesel engines. We have some concerns about that decision, mostly that it means spending scarce tax dollars on as yet unbuilt, more expensive technology, when the plan is to electrify the corridor shortly thereafter. But today we learned the most startling thing about his decision. He apparently didn’t mean to say ALL the trains in the corridor (though he did, and in writing, to us). Instead, only about 1/3 of the GO trains will be forced to be Tier 4. Apparently his decision only applies to the trains to Brampton and Georgetown, and the 200 odd trains going to Bradford and Milton are exempted. We will be consulting with our partners in the Clean Train Coalition about what to do next.
The minister did not ignore Weston. He said “I have also reminded Metrolinx of its requirement to meet the commitments set out in its Environmental Project Report, including maintaining a train stop in Weston, implementing the tunneled portion of the rail way between Church Street and King Street and maintaining existing accessibility to Church Street and King Street in Weston.” However, that statement is not in the ‘conditions’ only in his letter. So it remains to be seen how that will play out.
Once again, many thanks to those of you who have helped out. The fight’s not over.
Weston Community Coalition
Below is a selection of responses we have recevied during the past week.....
From: Mike Rothery [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: August-29-09 9:50 AM
Subject: Environmental report on Georgetown train corridor
You must reject the current Environmental Project Report and ensure that any future expansion of rail traffic along the Georgetown Corridor is electric.
Say no to outdated, outmoded, dangerous and polluting diesel technology.
Say yes to clean electric trains.
W M Rothery
31 August 2009: Today the WCC has sent a detailed report to John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment for Ontario.
This report contains our analysis of Ontario's Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) as it has been applied to the Air Rail Link project. Second, the report contains our analysis of the project itself and whether this is the most efficient and effective use of scarce taxpayer resources, and whether the ‘stronger, healthier communities’ goal is being met.
Our report can be downloaded here:
Open Report from the WCC to Environment Minister John Gerrettsen (31 August 2009)
Appendix 1 for Open Report from the WCC to Environment Minister John Gerrettsen (31 August 2009)
29 August 2009: The Toronto Board of Health has submitted a fairly scathing condemnation of the Metrolinx plans and the so-called Environmental Assessment. Metrolinx’s only response was to question the Medical Officer of Health’s assertion that many of the residents along the corridor are of lower income status and have lower health outcomes as a result.
The Toronto School Board commissioned a peer review of the study, and it too, found it seriously lacking. The school board is concerned about the health of the 30,000 children who attend one of 76 schools along the corridor. Their review suggested that Metrolinx was seriously underestimating the pollution these trains will cause, and was underestimating the health risks.
Here's a quick update on recent and upcoming activities
Help get the word out - get your neighbours to sign up to www.cleantrain.ca
Make Your Voice Heard! (Yes, you!!) - Only 21 Days Left!!!
Take 5 minutes to register your concerns on the Metrolinx Web Portal – this is the only official way to make sure that your voice is heard. Fortunately, we’ve made it easy! Visit http://www.cleantrain.ca/webportal.php for step-by-step instructions.
We can make a difference! Metrolinx responded to demands to revise the Strachan Superbridge. But we have only 150 comments on the Metrolinx Web Portal. We have over 800 people on our list – take a moment and add your voice to the chorus!
Tell them that you demand:
- Clean and modern electric trains to run along the Union Station to Georgetown Corridor
- No new investment in diesel technology
- A new environmental assessment that considers electrification as an alternative to diesel