(OTTAWA) May 1, 2017 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), and Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, are calling for joint federal-provincial funding for high speed rail linking Windsor to Montreal.
“We must invest in our rail service, both passenger and freight,” Ms. May said. “Study after study shows that high speed rail service on the Windsor-Quebec City corridor is good for our economy and environment. This investment should be part of a national transportation strategy.”
“I’m deeply disappointed that the provincial Liberal budget did not contain funding for high speed rail, even though the province is expected to release a report on high speed rail soon,” said Mr. Schreiner. “Gridlock on the 401 costs billions each year. Having a high speed rail link between our major cities will get people out of their cars and onto a train – saving time and money. High-speed rail will also create jobs in the innovation corridor between London, KW, Guelph and Toronto. It will cut travel times between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal in half.”
While other countries have built new networks of high-speed rail to move people and goods faster, Canada’s national rail systems are in decline.
Canada is the only Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country without a national transportation strategy. The European example shows us the benefits of high speed rail linking downtown cores to other modes of transit. Connecting transit with cycling infrastructure also enables people to move around cities safely, quickly, affordably and pollution-free.
The case for high speed rail between Windsor and Montreal is clear:
● Significantly improves travel time: helping people move around more efficiently, reducing gridlock and GHGs from individual car trips
● Moving to separate lines for passenger trains will improve train service and reliability; VIA service suffers right now from sharing lines with freight trains
● Economic benefits including construction of the rail line and building more train cars in Canada
● Creating green transportation and energy infrastructure corridors in key regions.
The Green Party of Canada and GPO call on the Ontario and federal governments to commit the funding needed to build the high speed rail link between Windsor and Montreal.