Ontario Greens urge federal-provincial funding for Windsor-Montreal high-speed rail link | Unpublished

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Toronto, Ontario
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The Green Party of Ontario is independent yet is philosophically aligned with other green parties in Canada and around the world. The GPO is fiscally conservative, socially progressive and environmentally focused, and begins with the basic premise that all life on the planet is interconnected and that humans have a responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world.

The Green Party of Ontario (GPO) became an officially registered political party in 1983, and has been developing in size and sophistication since that time, expanding its membership and rising in the polls. We have increased the number of candidates in successive provincial elections. In the 1999 provincial election, we fielded 58 candidates, and became the fourth largest party in the province. In 2003, we fielded our first nearly-full slate, 102 out of 103 candidates, and received 2.8% of the vote. The 2007 election saw Ontario voters support Green Party values with unprecedented enthusiasm. The GPO, for the first time in history, had a full slate of candidates and garnered over 8% of the vote.

In the 2018 election GPO leader Mike Schreiner became the first Ontario Green to be elected to Queen's Park. The party now has two seats and polls between 4-8%. 

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Ontario Greens urge federal-provincial funding for Windsor-Montreal high-speed rail link

May 1, 2017

(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.