Joint letter re. Federal-Provincial Two-Way All-Day Commitments to Waterloo RegionNovember 10, 2015
Ms. Bardish Chagger, MP (Waterloo) House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Mr. Raj Saini, MP (Kitchener Centre)House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Mr. Marwan Tabbara, MP (Kitchener South-Hespeler) House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Mr. Bryan May, MP (Cambridge) House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Dear Members of Parliament,
As two Members of Provincial Parliament for Waterloo Region, we are writing to offer our congratulations for your recent election as Members of Parliament for Kitchener and Waterloo Region ridings, and our shared hope that we can build a strong, constructive working relationship as we all work toward a better Waterloo Region, a better Ontario, and a better Canada.
As you all know, our Region has received many commitments during the two most recent elections – provincial and federal – from all parties regarding infrastructure spending, with particular focus on public transit.During the recent federal election, our newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, committed to insuring support for local infrastructure priorities, specifically running ads highlighting his support for investments to deliver the long-awaited two-way, all-day GO service to and from Kitchener.
Providing a two-way, all-day rail link to Toronto – where riders can get both to and from the region throughout the entire day – must be a priority for all levels of government.It certainly is for our municipal levels of government. In a report co-authored by the Region of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo, Innovative Regional Economies and Strategic Infrastructure: the business case for two-way, urban commuter rail on the CN North Mainline, our municipalities asked for a commitment from the provincial government to bring two-way rail to Kitchener because of the opportunities for growth and the significant economic benefit it would have.
The report found that “a 10 year capital allocation to support full two-way GO Train service on the Kitchener Line will immediately give global technology companies, mid-sized firms andstartups the confidence to grow, the resources to innovate, and the support to become the technology supercluster that will rival competing global innovation regions” and that would “result in over 37,600 new employees,” “$2.5 billion in direct wages,” and “$542 million in tax revenue per year.”
In Ontario, the current Liberal government under Premier Kathleen Wynne made two-way, all-day GO rail service to Kitchener a priority during the 2014 election. That commitment was to ensure completion of the project in five years.Unfortunately, in April 2015, Premier Wynne’s announced provincial government priority projects for Metrolinx and GO rail did not include two-way, all-day service to Kitchener. We were saddened by the fact that the current Liberal government was unable to live up to its promise to bring two-way, all-day GO rail service to Kitchener.
It is our hope that by writing to you early in the new federal government’s term, you can make the case to your colleagues and the new Prime Minister about the importance of maintaining his commitment and ensuring funding for two-way rail to Kitchener as part of the new government’s increased investment for priority local infrastructure funding.
Catherine Fife, MPP Kitchener-Waterloo
Michael Harris, MPP Kitchener-Conestoga