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Happy new year, everyone! A small group of us have been very busy with Clean Train Coalition work over the holiday season so this is why there’s been such a delay since our last email. (If you have time to help us with that… we would be most grateful!)
In the meantime, it’s short notice, but our NEXT GENERAL MEETING is this Thursday, Jan 6 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre, 1900 Davenport just west of Symington.
Topics in this email:
1. Petitions delivered to the Legislature
2. Seasonal cards and postcards to McGuinty
3. Metrolinx preparing to buy Japanese-built diesel trains!
4. Request for donations
5. Come to next general meeting
6. What else you can do
1. Petitions delivered to the Legislature
Over ten thousand petitions were introduced into the Legislature on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 and the CTC held a press conference to announce it.
With these endorsements, the CTC now has support from members of Ontario’s three political parties. Liberal MPPs who presented petitions were Laura Albanese (York South-Weston), Tony Ruprecht (Davenport), and Shafiq Qaadri (Etobicoke North). Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP and Transport Critic Frank Klees (Newmarket-Aurora) and MPP Joyce Savoline (Burlington) also presented petitions with Klees attending the press conference held in the morning. NDP members presenting petitions were Transport Critic Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale-High Park) and Rosario Marchese (Trinity-Spadina). Ms. DiNovo has already presented a large number of the petitions during the past year and more are coming forward daily.
At the press conference, PC Transport Critic Frank Klees said, “I certainly welcome on behalf of the Conservative Caucus the initiative being taken by your group. I want to make it very clear I stand firmly behind this. It is unjustifiable on the part of the government to not go electric from the very start.”
Klees added, “There are literally thousands of people who have expressed their views on the benefits of electrification and it is time for the government to listen. What has not been in the discussion to this point is the economics. There are not only the environmental advantages, but the very large operating savings down the road.”
2. Seasonal Cards and postcards to Premier McGuinty Did you get one of our holiday cards? The CTC printed about 5000 non-denominational cards and delivered them to people along the tracks, media and politicians. These cards illustrated the need for everyone to contact Dalton McGuinty to let him know we want electric not diesel trains, and we want them now, not later. A big thanks to our distribution team who got them out there. You were a tremendous help and we could not have done it without you.
Please contact the premier if you have not already at dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal..ola.org to say you want electric trains between Union Station and Pearson Airport by 2015. The diesel trains stop with him – he must be the one to change them to electric.
In addition, some friends of the CTC (at www.stopdirtydieseltrains.ca) ran off a large number of postcards that can be mailed to Premier McGuinty. They have been dropped off at various locations in the communities but if you can’t find any, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want some.
3. Update: Metrolinx puts a bid in for Japanese diesel trains!
Despite the CTC having been told directly by Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne when we met with her in September that they would wait until the electrification study was completed to decide what locomotives to buy, Metrolinx has announced that it will be purchasing Japanese-built diesel-powered vehicles for the ARL by February 6!
We don’t have to tell you all the reasons this is wrong, but just to restate it: going electric would pay huge dividends in economic spin-off, job creation, and environmental and health benefits for taxpayers. Virtually everything required – electric locomotives, rolling stock, overhead wires, transformers and all the construction work – could be supplied by Ontario firms. It would be a risk-free, made-in-Ontario solution. Rail and transit industry associations in Canada and the U.S. estimate that every $1 million invested in capital projects such as commuter rail electrification generates $3 million to $4 million in economic activity and creates 26 to 40 new jobs.
With the prospect of a significant decline in world oil supply looming within the next decade, electric power is recognized as the preferred energy source for sustainable transportation.
The CTC is calling on Premier McGuinty to direct Metrolinx to not purchase these diesel trains and rather to direct Metrolinx to make the ARL electric!
4. Clean Train Coalition needs cash!
I am sure you are thinking, doesn’t everyone, especially in these tough economic times? We hope you can spare some for our fight to ensure a positive outcome!
The CTC is a volunteer group that runs on a very tight shoestring budget used for covering all our communications costs. The 5000 cards we recently printed cost over $500; copies of briefing notes and press releases for government and media relations cost for each round of advocacy; display and hand-out materials are needed for every community education event.
Without your donations, we can’t make our voices heard and be certain that people get informed about what is really at stake, and ensure that the Metrolinx public relations machine is held up to public scrutiny.
Can we afford to allow Metrolinx to choose diesel trains for the ARL instead of electric ones, which would result in over 300,000 people breathing in the most deadly particulates? There are over 1000 children along this corridor registered at school today with asthma. How will we explain to those kids who have to manage the added environmental stress of pollution, what impact diesel trains will have on them and their young friends for the rest of their lives?
Please go to our website (http://www.cleantrain.ca) and donate whatever you can. If every household on this list donated $10 or more, that would be an enormous boost! It’s our children on the line. We can’t have a lack of funds stop us.
5. Come to our next General Meeting.
Thursday, January 6, 2010 at 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Come and join us for an informative meeting on what is happening with the Clean Train Coalition. It takes place at the Perth Davenport Neighbourhood Centre at 1900 Davenport Ave @ Symington Ave. Refreshments will be served and you will learn of all the good work that is being done. Bring a friend!
6. Other ways you can help
Mail, email, or phone your local councillor (especially the newly elected ones) and your provincial MPPs and voice your continued opposition to the use of diesel trains versus electrification. (Contacts for some key provincial politicians are below)
Remind elected officials that dirty diesel is bad for the environment, bad for the health of Torontonians, and that all the available data points to the fact that electrification is more affordable over the long run.
You can find contact information for key politicians by clicking on the Contact Politicians link on the CTC home page. At the bottom of this email, we've also included contact info for Premier McGuinty, Minister Wynne, and MPPs Laura Albanese and Tony Ruprecht.
Continue to spread the word! Please tell your friends and neighbours that there is still time to make a difference. Direct them to our web site for more information. Have them sign up to our newsletter or volunteer list.
If you might be available to help us with door-to-door delivery of CTC info in your neighbourhood, please let Cherri know at email@example.com . It takes about an hour to deliver to 100 front doors, and walking is great exercise!
And last but not least, if you are able to contribute some time to get more involved with the CTC, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at any time so we can plug you in!
Happy New Year and let’s hope it’s an electric one! The Clean Train Coalition email@example.com
CONTACT INFO FOR PROVINCIAL POLITICIANS
Hon. DALTON MCGUINTY
Premier, Province of Ontario
Rm 281, Legislative Building, Queens Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Tel: (416) 325-1941 Fax: 416-325-3745
Hon. KATHLEEN WYNNE
Minister of Transportation
Ferguson Block 3rd Floor
77 Wellesley St W
Toronto ON M7A1Z8
LAURA ALBANESE, MPP
Unit 102 - 2301 Keele St
Toronto ON M6M 3Z9
Tel: (416) 243-7984 Fax: (416) 243-0327
TONY RUPRECHT, MPP
1359 Davenport Road
Toronto ON M6H 2H5
Tel: (416) 535-3158 Fax: (416) 325-9961
Clean Train Coalition Meeting
THURSDAY January 6th
Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Centre (DPNC)
1900 Davenport Rd 6:30pm
Your assistance is needed!
Your help is needed now to assist in last ditch efforts to stop the purchase of diesel trains which fail to take the welfare of our communities into account. As of next week, there will be 4 weeks remaining to let our voices be heard.
Metrolinx has planned to purchase diesel trains at the beginning of February for the tracks that run through our neighbourhoods. The purchase has been confirmed by the Environment Minister Kathleen Wynne in a letter she sent out just before Christmas to voters who wrote to her about their concerns regarding the trains. (See attached letter).
An electrification study is set to come out at the end of the month leaving little time for public participation in the debate.
Rally your friends and neighbours! Rally other community/resident groups!
This has been a very long battle. The Weston community has been fighting this for years now. BUT for one more month we need to show our collective concern about the Metrolinx/Provincial Government plan for our neighbourhoods.
Wow. WOW! Might we REALLY GET ELECTRIC TRAINS?!?
Can someone shed some light into this for me? Last I heard, the diesel trains were set to be purchased... but now:
"Metrolinx is recommending the province spend up to $1.8 billion to electrify the busy Georgetown and Lakeshore GO train lines and the new train service between Union Station and Pearson airport."
To answer my own question, as I got sidetracked by the headline...
"If the province decides to fund the proposal, which could cost between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion, it would likely be about 11 years before Brampton commuters see electric trains and 15 to 17 years before the trains run to Oakville."
ATTEND: THE CLEAN TRAIN DEMONSTRATION
We demand that Metrolinx NOT purchase diesel trains for the air-rail link to Pearson Airport.
Wednesday, January 26 at 8:30 a.m.
Central YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St
2 blocks north of College St, west of Yonge St
CALL: 416 205 5807 TO LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR CBC RADIO ON THE ELECTRIFICATION.
VOLUNTEER: send your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to help deliver flyers in your area.
Policy shift on electric trains is a giant step forward– and the fight is far from over
We just won an INCREDIBLE victory yesterday in the battle for electric trains and healthy transit. The Air Rail Link is now top priority for electrification, and the Georgetown and Lakeshore routes are being recommended to the Province to become the regional electric rail corridors.
Everyone who is part of the Clean Train Coalition should feel proud at the fact that Metrolinx is now admitting that we have been right all along: Electric Trains are the way to GO!
The Electrification Study that CTC compelled them to undertake will set transit policy across Canada, and will advance the case for healthy and sustainable urban transit. These policy discussions will continue into the future, and CTC will be part as the dialogue continues in days to come.
But today our struggle continues. Their plans still include using diesel trains to launch expanded service for the ARL and GO. They are still negotiating the order for buying Diesel Multiple Unit trains for the Air Rail Link, and say these will be converted sometime after they get running. There are serious concerns about noise as well as air pollution: diesel ARL trains would be much louder than electric trains and they would blast their way through our communities every 15 minutes for 20 hours a day!
Do you trust the promise by Metrolinx, when there is no actual plan for conversion of the ARL diesels once they buy them, when the cost of converting from Diesel to Electric is more than buying electric trains up front, and when the only reason driving this is to meet commitments for a 2 week tourist event that adding more bus and train service to the existing GO schedule could handle as effectively? The Pan Am Games are no excuse for inflicting diesel trains on our communities for decades. We MUST get them to build it right, from the start!
On January 26th the CTC is holding a demonstration in front of the Central YMCA on 20 Grosvenor Street, starting at 8:30 AM. It is an important opportunity to let the Metrolinx Board of Directors and the Provincial Government that there is a gap between words and deeds. We will not stand by silently while the Provincial Government hopes they can sound good for the next election. Talking electric while buying diesel is not good enough, and we vote for electric trains.
CBC radio is taking calls on the electrification, so please call them!
Topics can include why diesel, even tier 4 is bad for our health, why diesel trains to the airport pollute more than cars, how incredibly noisy the ‘latest, most modern’ diesel trains are since GO put them online last year, why the Pan Am games 'green and sustainable' shouldn't be the excuse for diesel, why does it now take 22 years to do what in 2001 experts said would take 33 months. Tell your friends. Make this the most called item ever on CBC.
Our Next Steps:
PLEASE ATTEND the CTC Demo, January 26th 8:30am at the Central YMCA before the Metrolinx Board Meeting to demand that Metrolinx purchase electric and not diesel trains for the air-rail link to Pearson Airport. Bring a sign with a positive message, like “GO ELECTRIC NOW!”
PLEASE CALL 416 205 5807 to leave a message for CBC radio on the need for electrification.
PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS. Delivering flyers locally ensures people in your community get informed and are encouraged to take action. Register at email@example.com to help connect your local area.
The Clean Train Coalition is a non-partisan volunteer group that represents the communities along the rail corridor. We believe that a healthy environment and vibrant neighbourhoods depend on smart investment in public transit infrastructure. Build it once, build it right! For more information please see http://www.cleantrain.
Help get the word out - get your neighbours to sign up to http://www.cleantrain.ca
this is a good news story (even if it will take a long time) personally, I want to thank all those people in teh community who drove this organizing and advocasy - good work and congratulations.