Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In the name of Air Canada, West Jet and Porter Airlines

Harper won't support high speed rail link between Que. and Ont.: McGuinty

February 24, 2009
Maria Babbage

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is frowning on a proposal for a high-speed rail link between Ontario and Quebec that would boost the economy and help the environment, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.

Without federal support, the proposed link between Windsor, Ont., and Quebec City may never get off the ground, McGuinty said.

"I continue to be a big fan of (the plan), as does (Quebec Premier) Jean Charest," McGuinty said.

"The prime minister is not as much of a fan on this score."

McGuinty didn't say what objections Harper may have to the proposal, which has floated around for more than a decade.

There are plenty of reasons why it should go ahead, McGuinty said.

"I like it because it fights climate change, it fights traffic congestion – so it enhances our productivity levels – it creates jobs, and it enhances our quality of life," he said.

Experts have advised the province to do a better job of connecting big communities to build a strong economy, he added.

"It does all those things, which is why I think it's a worthwhile project."

The federal government has said in the past that Canada wasn't yet ready for high-speed trains.

While they may not see eye-to-eye on the project, the three governments are jointly spending $3 million for another feasibility study.

The new study, awarded to the EcoTrain Consortium, will examine the cost and environmental impact of the project, as well as the level of demand for the service, the Ontario government said in a release Monday.

The report will also update information that was previously gathered in earlier studies, it said.


Dr Mike said...

Time for another stacked panel??

Dr Mike.

choo choo said...

Why should federal taxpayers continue to pay to upgrade rail service in the Quebec Windsor corridor while the federal government continues to downgrade service and haul up tracks in the rest of the country?

Central Canadians keep telling us that we can't have VIA rail service in Atlantic Canada because the market won't support it. If the almighty market won't support an upgrade between Montreal and Toronto, then why should it be treated any differently?

On a side note, why is it always cheaper to fly than take the train anyway?

Brian said...

There would be a huge demand for downtown to downtown service. Many, as with myself, much rather hope on a train downtown and be let off in the other city's centre. It's expensive to get transportation to and from airports, and the prices are expensive, not too mention how unpleasant security it etc.

There should be high speed links where ever it is possible. I lived in France with the TGV and it was wonderful. Coming back to Canada felt like going back to the transportation stone age.