WATERLOO — There is only one party in the Ontario election with a fully costed commitment to build high speed rail (HSR) and drive economic growth across central and southwestern Ontario. After reaching major milestones over the past two years, the Ontario Liberals will continue moving ahead with Phase One of this essential project, which will connect London to Toronto in as little as 73 minutes, with stops in Kitchener, Guelph, Pearson International Airport and Union Station. The Liberal plan aims to begin delivering HSR service on Phase One as early as 2025.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Waterloo tech firm eleven-x today with Transportation Minister and Liberal candidate for Cambridge Kathryn McGarry and Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth and Liberal candidate for Vaughan—Woodbridge to highlight the steps Liberals have taken to make this job-creating link a reality, including:
- Formally beginning the environmental assessment process by awarding a contract and issuing a Notice of Commencement
- Appointing the Honourable David Collenette to lead Ontario's High-Speed Rail Planning Advisory Board
- Committing more than $11 billion in the 2018 budget to support construction of Phase One of HSR between Toronto and London – the single largest new expenditure in the budget
The NDP's platform doesn’t include a single mention of HSR, but it does cut the $33 million in funding that is being spent right now on the environmental assessments needed to keep HSR moving ahead. The NDP would stop HSR dead in its tracks and cut other programs essential to economic growth and job creation, including $170 million for apprenticeships. Together with the tax hikes they are proposing for businesses of all sizes, the NDP platform would derail more than HSR — their careless plan would broadside Ontario’s economy. The Doug Ford Conservatives have presented no plan to build HSR. Ford’s agenda is to cut billons from the services people depend on — such as health care, education and transit — while rewarding the rich with unnecessary corporate tax cuts. Only the Ontario Liberals will build the modern infrastructure needed to create jobs and better connect communities around Ontario.
The Liberal plan expands publicly funded prescription drugs to one-in-two people in Ontario, makes the largest mental health care investment in Canadian history, builds a record amount of transit, boosts hospital funding, helps more people go to college or university with publicly funded tuition and lets more parents go back to work by funding preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten. Ontario’s economy is growing stronger, but that growth and the care and services it funds are at risk this election.
“High-speed rail will help Ontario — and our Region — write the next chapter of our economic and high-tech success story. The NDP have never said they’d support it — and yesterday we learned they have no plan to fund it. They claim otherwise, but the facts speak for themselves – and they would put this project at risk. Our people are counting on this transformative project to move forward, and only Ontario Liberals have a plan to do so.”
— Transportation Minister Kathryn McGarry
“Ontario is the engine of Canada’s growth because Ontario Liberals understand that a strong education system, a well-educated workforce, infrastructure investments and direct investments in jobs and prosperity all help to build a strong economy. That allows us to make investments –— like this one — in the programs that provide opportunity and care for our people.”
— Minister of Economic Development and Growth Steven Del Duca
“I have always been a champion of this high-speed rail project. Faster, better travel options are so badly needed. And now that we are taking concrete steps to build it, with the environmental assessment process underway, an $11 billion commitment in our fiscal plan, and a 2025 target for starting service on Phase One between Toronto and London, we cannot afford to take a big step back.”
— Premier Kathleen Wynne
- Electric-powered trains will move at speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors, dramatically reducing travel times
- In December, 2016, the Premier accepted the report of the Honourable David Collenette, Special Advisor for High Speed Rail, which found that there is a business case for building a high speed rail link between Toronto and Windsor
- Phase Two will connect London to Windsor
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