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Say no to outdated, outmoded, dangerous and polluting diesel technology.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
From: Ike Zimbel
Sent: August-30-09 1:20 PM
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Councillor
Perks; email@example.com; Letters@globeandmail.com;
Subject: Re: Metrolinx Rail expansion in Toronto's West End
*Dear Minister Gerretsen,
I am writing to express my deep concern over the plans to expand rail service in the West Toronto Corridor. In particular I am writing to demand that there be no more investment in diesel technology, and that any new trains be powered with electric power. We live beside the combined GO-Via-CN-CP tracks in the area known as the Junction and even in the last year we have seen a marked increase in the noise and disruption from increased train service.
Metrolinx and the Province of Ontar
io plan to run over 400 diesel trains a day through my neighbourhood. Diesel exhaust is a known threat to human health, especially the health of children and seniors, and is linked to cancer and respiratory diseases. This plan will seriously impact my quality of life and that of my family. Metrolinx has indicated a vague plan to electrify this corridor in 15 years, but there is no commitment in place to do so. In order to protect our health, save our neighbourhoods, and advance Ontario's green economy, we need to electrify now.
There are plenty of options for electric motive power, including many from Canada's (and Ontario's) own Bombardier Transportation. Further, while there are many options for electricity generation, including green and renewable sources of energy, here in Ontario, diesel fuel is not one of them. This is a bad time to be basing a major transportation initiative on a non-renewable resource that is of necessity imported into Ontario. What will the social and economic costs of diesel fuel be in the coming decades?
And finally, I would like to suggest that the whole concept of commuting, via public or private means needs to be re-examined. With such issues as global warming, dwindling fossil fuels, even increasingly erratic and violent weather systems becoming more and more prevalent, the concept of living in one community, and working in another is starting to look like a luxury that our society can ill afford. The Ontario government should be taking a leadership role in encouraging businesses to locate in urban centres, and encouraging people in the work force to live near where they work. This could be done through a variety of initiatives including tax credits for both workers and businesses, relocation allowances, and revised zoning laws to allow businesses and residences to co-exist where practical.
Ike Zimbel and family
To: Whom it m
From: Juan. F. Gutierrez.
Before... I apologize because my English is not good enough to understand exactly what the point is. I don’t want any changes in the train tracks. Right now it is bad for me and my family as it is . We are a low income family and I can’t enjoy my back yard. You can’t talk out side either. I can imagine how it is going to be with so many trains passing by. I know we can not stop the progress but I think we voted for somebody who can defend my rights. My poor property and my poor house is going to shake and move a lot who will pay for the repairs. I have 3 children. If they will go to sleep I think they will use earplugs to not hear the noises that the trains make. The valuation of the house is going really down. I won’t be able to sell it. If you can tell me the traveling of the sound to 40,000 lb X 2 + the wagons and the containers and the vibration then can you tell me how bad it is going to be for my family’s health? And I am not talking about dust. I know so many excuses your people and other people can make about us and I remember something … a layer defended innocent people in my old country. The defendant went to jail for 1 year. The layer said it is a very good deal. he shook his hands and gave the defendant a bottle of Vaseline and he said it was only one year. Now in my new country I feel like the poor defendant. But I don’t expect you guys to send Vaseline. Send Vaseline but remember this change is not for one year…. It’s forever
Resident of Church St. and his family
Romina Deborah Gutierrez 7 years
Owen Gutierrez 12 years
Ivan Gutierrez 16 years
Juan and Guillermena Gutierrez
Subject: High Park Residents' Association Objection To Georgetown / Airport Diesel
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 11:16:56 -0400
To: Jeff D. Derksen
CC: Cheri Di Novo , Gerard Kennedy , Gord Perks , "J. Robert Prichard" , Colleen Bell , Leslie Woo , Clean Train Coalition
Good day, all; Please find attached a softcopy of the HPRA's communication to the Honourable John Gerretsen, Minister of the Enviroment, the hard copy of which was delivered yesterday. In summary, we are very much in favour of public transit improvements along the Georgetown - Airport - Union Station corridor, if by electrification. The significant and growing challenges to future prosperity and liveability that we face in this province - including though not limited to an aging electrical grid, intergovernmental squabbles, and population outflows - require that we replace our present "quarterly results" inertia with planning and decision making that reflect a multi-generational perspective. Diesel is a twentieth century answer. For the sake of millions who breathe here, let's make sure Ontario is not. Yours sincerely,Jeff D. DerksenChair, High Park Residents' Association
Subject: Pan Am Games
From: "Mike Sullivan"
Date: Wed, Sep 02, 2009 10:10 am
The Pan-Am Games organization has declared the 2015 Games to be the first ‘green and sustainable’ games. Unfortunately for Toronto’s bid, Ontario plans to build the world’s busiest diesel rail corridor (464 trains per day) through the centre of Toronto in part to support the bid. Part of that corridor will be used by 55 year old Diesel trains to ‘whisk’ participants and visitors (at $20 per ride) to Union Station from the airport, as part of Ontario’s ‘world class’ infrastructure makeover. Those trains will pollute the air 16-28 times as much as the cars they take off the road, according to Metrolinx’s figures. In total, the new trains will contribute as much smog-producing chemicals to our air in a year as about one-half the Thunder Bay Coal fired electric plant.
We need our breath, not circuses, Mr. McGuinty. Please make sure all these trains are electric. Vancouver did it right. Toronto should too.
Weston Community Coalition
From: Elizabeth Scott
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:31 AM
Subject: Days gone by in Weston
To the recipient and reader of this email
I moved to Weston in 1955 with my late husband Stanley HE.W. Scott and young son: 221 Rosemount Ave. was the first and probably the only home that we owned and I will own and where I will continue to live as long as either health or destiny takes its toll.
At that time Weston was a thriving community where people were born, lived, worked and in many cases died. It was a town and a community that cared! It was a town where the train would stop during hunt season and hunters coming from the north country would unload the winter's supply of deer and bear meat. It was a community where people and families and their welfare was important. For example when I went to the town hall to pay my taxes for the time we occupied the house in 1955 the clerk was not interested in the payment, she was more concerned that I have enough money for Christmas, especially for presents for my then young son. Subsequently she refused payment and I was told "Don't worry about the taxes, we will straighten everything out in the New Year: have a Merry Christmas and make sure your little one has lots of presents under the tree" Believe it or not I still have that 1955 tax bill and it was paid without a penalty. Unlike today's tax bills where payments are made to an unknown Treasurer of the City Toronto and if said payment is not made within the allotted time frame I will be charged either with an exorbitant interest rate or threatened with the arrival of a bailiff! And not even so much as "Thank you for payment on time or have a "Merry Christmas"
The businesses, offices and manufacturing plants that once thrived in Weston are too numerous to list but most are long gone. I know manufacturing plants long ago headed to the suburbs when we were taken over by the now "City of York" at least that is what I think it is called. The stately homes have long been demolished to make way for umpteen apartment buildings with the ugly, garish "For Rent" signs and more apartments to come (hopefully some one will eradicate the weeds and clean up the sales office) and from your latest email proposing that the remaining property (that of another car dealership on Weston Road south of Lawrence Ave. ) is to be developed into a Futuristic Weston Station for international travelers to quickly access downtown Toronto. Hopefully transit riders will be allowed to exit the trains for a few hours without charge and visit our quaint stores, shop for souvenirs of Weston, visit our Farmer's market and munch on a sandwich, or a slice of pizza or a freshly baked slice of bread pudding on the way back to the train station. Hopefully it doesn't rain that day and visitors will not have to slog through the mud on rainy days or scrable over show banks through in winter as the daily commuters are forced to do. At least at present the weeds and wildflowers cover the ugliness of the "Go Station."
Thanks to the Weston Business Association and the weekly "Guardian" and Mike Sullivan for his tireless work including emails to concerned Westonians for keeping us abreast of developments regarding Weston's present and future development. Fifty years ago children could stand at any of the Weston railway crossing and wave to the engineer as he blew the train whistled on his steam powered engine. With close to 600 diesel trains scheduled to run from Pearson to Union Station by 2015 there will be no children to wave: trains moving through Weston will be either underground or pedestrian enclosures will be erected over certain streets where diesel fumes can be inhaled by both adults and children. I cannot believe that Toronto, supposedly a world class city has resorted to diesel trains especially since so many European countries are forging ahead with electric transportation: AVE electric trains connect all major cities in Spain. Britain plans to eliminate the diesel trains presently connecting London to the northern regions and by 2014 electric trains will connect London to Manchester and Liverpool and conhtiue on to to Edinburgh and Glasgow. With so many countries rejecting diesel trains in favour of electric trains why is diesel transportation even being considered in this day and age. Instead of moving into the 21st century we have regressed more than 50 years!
August 31, 2009
The Honourable John Gerretsen
Minister of the Environment
Province of Ontario
Dear Mr, Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment
The members and directors of Weston Park Baptist Church object to the Metrolinx Environmental Assessment Report and its recommendations for the Georgetown South Service Expansion & Union Pearson Link Environmental Project Report. Specifically, we object to:
• the lack of transparency and response to recommendations made by the community members during the consultation.
• the unwillingness of the project director and the engineers to consider all of the alternatives available.
• the negative impact the recommended construction will have on the Weston Community.
The recommendations made in the report are inadequate and the process of community consultation was not fair and transparent. The impact on the Weston community is enormous and the recommendations are not comprehensive. For example, the full integration of the TTC have not been considered. For effective community development to take place, all the transportation links serving the community and travelling through the community must be integrated.
Please review our response and we ask full consideration be given to the “Lowering the Whole Corridor” and building an “Integrated Transit Hub”.
On behalf of the Directors and members of Weston Park Baptist Church
Weston Park Baptist Church
1871 Weston Road
From: Nick Raso
Sent: August-31-09 9:48 AM
Subject: Living in Weston
Dear Minister John Gerretsen,
On behalf of my Parents ( own and Reside at Church St. as well as own one home on Cross St. and another at Chruch St.), and on behalf of my brother, his wife and young daughter who live on Woodward, and lastly my wife and I who live on Wendell Ave, I beg that this current environmental project report is rejected. In our day and age, we all must not accept technology that continues to harm both the communities and our environment. Diesel is no longer an acceptable mode of fuel. You must reject the current environmental project report and ensure that any future expansion of rail traffic along the Georgetown Corridor is ELECTRIC. At 36 years of age, I as well as my brother have grown up in Weston and have decided to in turn buy homes and raise our own children in Weston. These environmental issues surrounding the rail traffic have us extremely concerned over our futures health – 3 generations and counting in Weston. Please do something!!
Nick and Michelle Raso
Having lived in Belgum in an area of high Industry and Coal mining in the late 1950's, I often wondered why the street cars were powered by electricity and not fossil fuels. The reason must have been air pollution.
Running anything other than electric powered locomotives along the GEORGETOWN CORRIDOR would be enviromentally damaging to our area adversely affecting our community of WESTON and others along the line. We can't stop progress but the least we can do is make sure what
we build or service we provide does not adversely affect others .
RUNNING DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES IN SUCH HIGH NUMBERS DAILY WILL CERTAINLY CHANGE THE FACE OF OUR COMMUNITY AND NOT FOR THE BETTER