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The Toronto Board of Health has submitted a fairly scathing condemnation of the Metrolinx plans and the so-called Environmental Assessment. Metrolinx’s only response was to question the Medical Officer of Health’s assertion that many of the residents along the corridor are of lower income status and have lower health outcomes as a result.
The Toronto School Board commissioned a peer review of the study, and it too, found it seriously lacking. The school board is concerned about the health of the 30,000 children who attend one of 76 schools along the corridor. Their review suggested that Metrolinx was seriously underestimating the pollution these trains will cause, and was underestimating the health risks.
In addition, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Toronto City Council and Transport 2000 Ontario, have all expressed concern over the health impacts resultant from this project’s increase in diesel rail traffic, and its effects on air quality and local residents.
The Clean Train Coalition will be presenting its findings and report to the Minister of the Environment on Monday. A press conference will be held at Queen’s Park to present the report to the press, and show them the thousands of on-line and written petitions collected by the Coalition over the summer.
THERE ARE ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Please take a moment to email the Minister of the Environment!
The deadline is August 31 (Monday)!! After that date, the Minister will issue his announcement on the fate of the Environmental Project Report. The future health of our communities and our families are at stake.
Say no to outdated, outmoded, dangerours and polluting diesel technology.
Say yes to clean electric trains!!
Send your email to Minister John Gerretsen: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him that he must reject the current Environmental Project Report and ensure that any future expansion of rail traffic along the Georgetown Corridor is electric.
Visit http://www.cleantrain.ca for more information.
Help get the word out - get your friends and neighbours to submit their emails too!
Join the Clean Train Coalition as we advocate for the electrification of the Rail Corridor which cuts through West End Toronto. We are supporters of increased public transit, but deeply concerned with the current proposal to run over 400 diesel-powered trains through one of the most densely populated parts of our region. This expansion, as currently planned, will endanger the health of residents, pollute our already burdened environment, and tear at the fabric of our neighbourhoods. Help us to see this expansion Go Electric! Clean Transit is possible!
THE HUMAN TRAIN PROTEST MARCH, LAST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER, 2009
Join in a massive protest against the Metrolinx Dirty Diesel plan for the Georgetown-Union Rail Corridor, which will run 400 diesel trains per day through our neighbourhoods.
Walking our streets as close as possible to the Rail corridor, concerned residents will form the Human Train to highlight the human impacts this proposed expansion will have, and to demand the electrification of service along this densely-populated, urban rail corridor.
A core group will walk the entirety of the line as it winds its way through Weston, MountDennis, The Junction, West Bend, Roncesvalles, Brockton, Parkdale, LibertyVillage, and on to Union Station. Get on board the Human Train, walk the entire route, or “hop on” and “hop off” along the way. Join the festivities at one of the scheduled stops, or come out to the rally planned at the end.
We need your help to make it happen. Email email@example.com to get involved. Plan an event at your neighbourhood “stop”, register how far you’ll “ride” the train, donate time, money or services, and tell your friends and neighbours.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
Metrolinx has finalized their Environmental Progress (EPR) report, but despite the overwhelming number of comments from concerned citizens, electrification is still not on the table. The EPR is open for further comment through to the end of August, and the Clean Train Coalition intends to submit a comment, this time directed to the Minister of the Environment, asking him to intervene. Help strengthen our plea by adding your name and that of your friends and family to our long and ever growing list of supporters. Print out a copy of our petition, get it signed, and then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll arrange to pick it up. You can download a copy here.
If have a signed copy of the petition, please let us know as we're hoping to collect them by August 25th, and submit them along with our submission to the MOE.
If you haven't signed our online petition, please do and send an email to your friends and family, asking them to do the same. You can sign on here.
TORONTO BOARD OF HEALTH
The Toronto Board of Health is one of many organizations that agrees with the Clean Train Coalition. They have come out publicly to declare their support for an electrified regional rail expansion but opposition to the proposed use of diesel trains in Metrolinx' proposed Georgetown South Service Expansion and Union-Pearson Rail Link. You can read about the Board of Health's position here.
KEEP UP THE PRESSURE
Aside from adding your voice to ours, let the Minister of the Environment and your MPP know how you feel. Go to http://www.cleantrain.ca/moe.php to find out how.
INTERESTED IN HELPING?
The Clean Train Coalition is comprised entirely of volunteers. As such, we're always looking for more help. If you're interested in helping with fundraising, writing, media, economic analysis, or some other campaign-related matter, email us at email@example.com and we'll get back to you.
Help get the word out - get your neighbours to sign up to http://www.cleantrain.ca
I've been a long-term lurker on this listserv. I'm a freelance writer/editor--there seems to be a few around here--who lives on Northern Place.
Just wanted to share a bit of info. I wrote a letter yesterday to our MPP Tony Ruprecht about the Metrolinx update announcing the end of the formal consultation period about the Georgetown South Service Expansion project and the Union-Pearson Rail Link (GSSE/UPRL).
I thought the update was a pretty arrogant document, which offered a few small concessions (a new Strachan bridge design,extending the rail path, etc) while essentially dooming upfront electrification by dumping the issue into a long-term study looking at electrification of the GO system as a whole--a nice idea that's decades off. I also had a few other beefs with the update.
Anyway, of all things, Ruprecht called me today to thank me for the letter. He suggested I send it to the premier and the minister, which I will.
I'm not a big Ruprecht fan, but I've never before had a politician call me in response to a letter. I think he's feeling the heat about this issue but doesn't have much pull with the decision-makers and so needs to show the premier and the minister that there is genuine concern out there. I think it will take much political pressure to convince Metrolinx to take concerns about diesel trains seriously.
Here's a quick update on our community's complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) about the noise and vibration from the GO Transit West Toronto Diamond project.
A complaint was filed on behalf of the community with the CTA.
GO responded, as required.
The community was given the opportunity to comment on GO's response and received an extension to allow the preparation of the response. That comment was filed August 6.
Now, the City of Toronto has the opportunity to respond to the complaint and the GO response. The deadline for the City response, we believe, is Aug 16.
At that point, the CTA will either render a decision or ask for more information, presumably from either party.
The Clean Air for Little Lungs Stroller Parade was a great success. Over 300 adults and hundreds of children gathered on the grounds of Queen's Park to advocate for clean air in our communities. Children's performers Rob and Soli of Alistair Ant Productions put on a great show and, together, we sent a strong message: our children's health is too important, and we will do whatever we can to protect them. The parade garnered quite a bit of media coverage, including a hourly segment on CBC Radio 1 and articles in a number of newspapers. If you missed the parade, you can read about it in Metro News, The Toronto Sun, and Now Magazine. And if you came out to Queen's Park, thanks for joining us. It was truly a great event.
Public Consultation on the Environmental Assessment