Liberals snub growing movement against toxic trains: NDP

Today in the legislature, Davenport NDP MPP Jonah Schein called on the Minister of Transportation to acknowledge growing criticism of the government’s plan to run diesel-powered on the Union Pearson Express and finally commit to immediate electrification of the Air Rail Link.

“Yesterday, scientist Dr. David Suzuki added his voice to an expanding list of people critical of the Liberal government’s plan to run diesel trains along the Air Rail Link,” said Schein. “Suzuki’s concerns echo those of transit expert Joell Ann Vanderwagen, who recently called the Liberal’s Diesel plan ‘The worst current example of wasted resources and opportunity.’ And the Auditor General has criticized your government’s diesel-powered line, saying high fares will drive down your ‘overly optimistic’ ridership projections.”

Yesterday, MPP Schein reintroduced his bill to push forward the immediate electrification of the Union Pearson Express Air Rail Link.

Schein asked the minister when the Liberals will finally realize their diesel line is a bad plan and commit to immediate electrification of the Union Pearson Express. In response, Murray was dismissive, putting fears of “embarrassment” ahead of the health of those families and schools located close to the Air Rail Link.

“An electrified line would allow multiple stops. It would generate higher ridership, be more affordable, and serve as a downtown relief line for the west end,” stated Schein. “The government’s plan to run a diesel-powered ‘executive service’ on the ARL is a train wreck waiting to happen. My bill will ensure that the government switches tracks and moves to immediately electrify the line.”

Schein’s bill is supported by Canadian Physicians for the Environment, TTC Riders, and community groups calling for the electrification of the Air Rail Link. His bill is also supported by the Asthma Society of Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division), and the Clean Train Coalition.

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