NEED FOR SPEED CAMPAIGN COMES TO LONDON

Masse and Mathyssen Call on Minister To Make Rail Investments a Priority Minister Has Yet to Pan Flawed Study Threatening Elimination of Rail Service

[LONDON, ON] The Harper government continues to hide behind a deeply flawed study suggesting rail investments would be costly and result in service reductions along the Windsor-Quebec City corridor.  To convince the Harper Government that investments in rail along the Windsor to Quebec City corridor are crucial to growing the Canadian economy Brian Masse (Windsor West) NDP Critic for High Speed Rail has launched The Need for Speed campaign. 

Today Masse joined by NDP MP for London Fanshawe Irene Mathyssen are calling on the Minister of Transport Denis Lebel to pan this study and move forward with rail investments that will begin the process of addressing Canada’s glaring infrastructure deficit.

Masse has written both the federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel to apprise them of the opportunity to make effective investments in the Canadian economy that will yield short, medium and long term benefits.   “Canada is decades behind the rest of the developed world with respect to rail capacity.  We have the 5th largest rail network in the world and are the only OECD country with no High Speed Rail whatsoever.  We can increase efficiencies along this corridor with modest investments right now. I am calling on the Minister to convene a working group of individuals who will identify specific projects along the Windsor to Quebec City corridor that will augment capacity in the short term. 
Unfortunately Minister Lebel continues to hide behind a deeply flawed
study that ignores the real potential that rail investments have to stimulate
growth in the Canadian economy.”

Mathyssen added “It’s shocking the Minister continues to stand behind a study that proposes essentially to shut down this station.  Simply put the Minister is
using this flawed study to quash the idea of investing in rail along the
crucial Windsor to Quebec City corridor. The methodology is unsound and its conclusions are flawed, despite these problems however that seems to stack the deck against making these crucial infrastructure investments the study still finds that investing in rail along the corridor is viable economically. It is critical for the long term competitiveness of communities like London and Windsor, but it is also vital to the province and the country that southwestern Ontario is connected and
thriving”.

In promoting the Need for Speed Campaign Masse will be meeting with the Mayor of London Joe Fontana, CEO of the London Chamber of Commerce Gerry MaCartney and Labour activists.  There is widespread support for rail investments
along the corridor that cuts across political fault lines and sectors of the
economy.  Studies show that investing is transportation infrastructure is critical to sustaining economic growth.  Rail investments at this time will yield short, medium and long term benefits to the economy and the environment.  Moreover it will create jobs and enhance public safety.