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GO ELECTRIC a success!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Go Electric Music Festival on September 26th. The weather held out, the acts were fantastic, and over 400 letters were signed to Premier McGuinty and other key Ministers advocating for electrification!
On top of the letters, community members decorated squares on the "Go Electic Quilt" which was featured alongside other pro-electrification works as part of Nuit Blanche. Very cool.
We'd like to extend a special thanks to all the musicians and volunteers. Without you, it simply could not have happened.
CTC to take part in YIMBY Toronto - Saturday, October 16
Come down to the Gladstone Hotel to meet members of the CTC at The YIMBY (Yes, In My Backyard) Festival. Why YIMBY? Because we want electric trains in our communities!
YIMBY provides a social space for community groups and citizen's organizations to gather and exchange ideas and strategies. YIMBY provides an opportunity for neighbours to meet neighbours, citizens to meet politicians and politicians to meet community groups, in the spirit of people coming together to say YES to positive change in their neighbourhoods.
Check out the event page: http://www.gladstonehotel.com/events/exhibitions/yimby
Time to focus on the Province
With the municipal elections coming to a head, it may seem early to focus our attention on the province, but it's time to apply pressure directly on the decision makers who are going to make this call. Our advocacy work at the municipal level has been enormously effective and every mayoral candidate, save one, has signed the Clean Train Pledge. Most candidates for City Councillor in wards along the corridor have also taken strong positions in favour of electrification.
It's clear that Toronto politicians know they have to be on the right side of this issue if they hope to win in an election. Now it's time to make sure our provincial leaders understand this reality.
The CTC has met with some provincial politicians, including the new Minister of Transportation. We will continue to make our case with the province and demonstrate that electrification is the best political, economic, and environmental choice. Add your voice to this effort.
Phone, email and write the Minister of Transportation, Premier McGuinty and your MPP (especially if they are a Liberal). Let them know that your vote is one for electrification!
Metrolinx's Electrification Study is set to report out in December. We expect a decision on this project shortly after. It's important that we're heard from in the lead up to this decision.
We will likely draft up some standard letters which can be personalized but, for now, we encourage you write your own letter or email and to express your views. Studies have shown that personal letters have the greatest effect on 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
Metrolinx this week served notice that it intends to take at least 6 houses in Weston, between Church and King St. These people were not informed of this during the Environmental Assessment, and the assessment has no indication this would be necessary. On many occasions, GO transit has told the community that expropriations would not be necessary to expand the rail corridor. We have been recently told that Metrolinx had reserved its right to change its mind on this matter during the ‘design’ phase of the tunnel. So…
Metrolinx is holding a community meeting on the subject of the Rail Corridor expansion and the design of the tunnel. The following is their notice. We would urge all who are interested to come out and find out more about how much more of Weston Metrolinx will take.
Weston Tunnel Community Design Review
Join us to review the proposed design concept for the Weston Tunnel. Project team members will be on hand to answer your questions and get your feedback on the design. We welcome your input and look forward to meeting you.
Location: Weston Park Baptist Church, 1871 Weston Road
Date: Thursday, October 28
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Formal Presentation: 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Feedback Workshops: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
John Street Pedestrian Bridge Community Advisory Committee
The Georgetown South (GTS) Project will build the infrastructure needed to meet the growing demand for GO Train service and the new Airport Rail Link. As part of the project, a pedestrian bridge will be built over the GO Train tracks at John Street in Weston Village.
The community plays an important role in this project and a Community Advisory Committee is being formed. The committee will be involved in the selection of three design concepts from submissions by invited designers for the bridge to ensure it is both aesthetically pleasing and functional for the community. The final winning design will be determined through a vote by the Weston Village community.
Click here if you or someone you know is interested in joining the committee.
Approximately 140 people attended the Metrolinx meeting at the Weston Park Baptist Church on Thursday, Oct 28. There were chairs for about 40 people.
On the issue of land takings (Metrolinx insists we not use the term 'expropriation'), there was some backpedalling. Although the letters to the residents of 45 and 47 Church, 32 and 34 Fern, and 44 and 46 King stated quite clearly that Metrolinx would be acquiring the properties, they advised at the meeting that there may be other options, such as a temporary relocation at Metrolinx's expense during the construction.
The minister of Transportation, Kathleen Wynne, also expressed in the legislature that there would be other options.
New letters have gone out to the homeowners, signed by Gary McNeil, President of GO Transit, apologizing for the 'confusion' and advising that Metrolinx wants to clarify their 'options', without stating what those options are. There are at least 3 other properties affected, but Metrolinx refused to say where they were. We found the ones listed above through knocking on doors.
Metrolinx had planned for 'feedback groups' to meet in smaller gatherings at the meeting, but the crowd would not have it. People wanted to finally ask questions of a central figure and get answers that all could hear. Metrolinx plans to hold a subsequent meeting to allow feedback, but it will be by invitation to any who expressed interest at the meeting. If you're interested contact Manuel Pedrosa of Metrolinx at email@example.com 416-869-3600 x 5655.
Other new information presented to the public that night included:
· Church and King will be closed for 1-3 months at different times, but 2 of the 3 roads will always be open.
· Metrolinx will begin moving Utilities in January of 2011.
· There was much discussion on the future use of the lid on the trench. Residents were surprised to see 'ribs' of reinforcing concrete on the portions of the trench north of Church and South of King. The lid will be solid only between Church and King. The law requires powered vents for tunnels longer than 1000 feet. There are 999 feet with a lid. But beyond that the sides will collapse without some kind of reinforcing, hence the 'ribs'.
· Residents asked if the lid could be community green space. Only if we paint it green. Metrolinx isn't prepared to spend the extra money to make it strong enough to hold soil and grass. The Catholic School (St. John the Evangelist) has asked for some of it as part of their play yard.
· The station will move to fully south of Lawrence. When asked if pedestrian access would be available from the North, residents were advised that they would have to walk along Ralph or South Station to Lawrence and cross Lawrence. It is unclear whether there will be pedestrian access from Lawrence. Construction will start in January 2011.
· Metrolinx has purchased the Price Chopper site on Weston Road as a staging area for the construction. They are considering using it as future parking for GO patrons.
· There was some discussion on a resident-offered solution to keeping John St. open to vehicles. Metrolinx has rejected it, and advised that it will not go beyond what is contained in the EA, which closed John St. They are unwilling to discuss any further options, it appears.
· Metrolinx will be creating a 20-30 member consultative group to help them pick a design for the pedestrian bridge at John St. The notice requires those interested to submit a resume and a 500 word essay on why you’d be good for the job. When I pointed out that many local residents are not comfortable with English, they said they’d accept any language, and would accept verbal applications. Address them to Manuel Pedrosa, see info above.