Ontario Election 2011

Parties Compete Over Regional Transit Support

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 12, 2011

In an article published by yorkregion.com, Liberal and PC candidates in Newmarket-Aurora are competing to show which party has stronger support for regional transit improvements.

After the Liberals announced a $6.8 billion plan to roll out all-day GO Train service, PC candidate Frank Klees responded, "There’s no question that all-day transit service to our communities must happen," adding that he has long been advocating for this investment.

Klees also noted that a Tory government would "honour and advance" existing commitments to transit, including the Yonge Subway extension and planned extensions to York Region's Viva bus rapid transit system.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 22:33:31

As with all promises in Canadian politics this one is vague and non-binding, so it's really just as useful as saying "Window trombone banana running oxford mightily!!!"

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:23:39

True enough the mid pen highway will not stop congestion. It will however provide another route to bring traffic into Hamilton. This will encourage people and businesses to come here. Is that not what we want? To grow the city. The highway is not an end all or be all but it is another way to make this city more attractive for investment.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:42:35 in reply to Comment 69536

It will however provide another route to bring traffic past Hamilton.


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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 21:37:02 in reply to Comment 69540

Makes total sense Nobrainer. Just like the QEW and 401 bring traffic right past Toronto. Your name seems fitting.

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By asking (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:56:35

Building more higways, is not the answer.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 14:06:58 in reply to Comment 69546

It is not like cars and trucks are the number one form of transport in the area. The populace of Southern Ontario hate driving their cars anywhere. Just look at the buses and trains they are always full. Or maybe not. The last time I took the morning express train to Toronto there were less than half a dozen people in the car I was in. Judging by the number waiting for the doors to open I would say that the number was typical for all the cars. The highway on the other hand was already starting to get pretty slow from the sheer volume of traffic. People just do not want to drive and insist on taking transit, or maybe not. These same people are the ones who pay the taxes. The taxes that fund all the projects LRT, highways, subways and the like. When do they get a say in it? In my mind they speak everyday when they get into their car and drive to where they need to go or decide to take transit. It is their money they need to have a say in how it is spent.

All you need to do is look at Toronto. See who the mayor is. Read his platform, what he promised to do, and is now doing exactly that. The people of Toronto elected the mayor with the ideas they liked. This site in its infinite wisdom condemns him and the people for voting him into power because they know better. They are the only ones who know what is right and proper for everybody. Nobody else needs to express an opinion or bother weighing in on the matter because the RTH faithful have all the answers for all the people, or maybe not.

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By jonathan (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 19:37:26 in reply to Comment 69552

I took the 7:05 Express Train to Union Station this morning. Yes, it was quite empty when we started...but by the time we left Oakville, it was standing-room-only. So to claim that the train from Hamilton is practically empty is a little misleading, no?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2011 at 15:58:36 in reply to Comment 69552

You are right. Everyone should have a say absolutely, but for Hudak to say I am going to build it, that's not asking now is it?

I will agree that we don't just need to sell why we don't need it, but to come up with creative ways not to need it and to fix the problems on our highways now.

I for one, when I drive, don't use the Skyway or the QEW. I take Eastport/Liftbridge, QEW quickly to take Plains across Fairview. As others point out, so many people are going to work in Burlington. Alternate routes certainly help.

If we can create more jobs and keep more people in Hamilton (or whatever city they live in), then I hardly need to leave except to go up north or to see the Jays or that sort of thing and I can take the train to see the Jays so I am then on that highway much less. I take the train to work 95% of the time anyways so I am not in that gridlock daily, but we need to fill all those factories and warehouses in north Hamilton with some good paying jobs, as well as all those office towers and new ones, downtown. AKA the need for local transit solutions so all these new jobs don't create internal traffic mayem.

I personally want to work in Hamilton. I'd be willing to bet there were quite a few travelling to downtown TO daily, that would rather stay local too.

We also need to give companies incentive to take a good look at their employee-base and where they are coming from and look at building satelite offices to get those people working closer to home. Or offer work from home solutions which some big companies are getting the hang of but get them to put a program in place to allow their employees at least one day a week, to work from their home offices.

All technology has done to date is create more paper, ruin wrists, backs, etc. Let's use it to our benefit to stop the need for more highways and large parking lots.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2011 at 15:09:45

I can understand the need to build more highways in the area - reports keep explaining how the GTA has the most miserable commute in the world. But I fail to see how the mid-pen will help. I mean, the QEW east of Hamilton never seems too crowded to me - I commuted that way for a semester in highschool. The QEW through Burlington is miserable, but the mid-pen won't relieve any of that pressure. The only thing the midpen seems to accomplish is to allow drivers going from Niagara to Brantford/London/Detroit to circumvent Hamilton and our snarled portion of the QEW/403.

To me, the mid-pen is more about irrigating more countryside with expressways so we can build more roadside box-malls, office-parks, and suburban sprawl. And that will only make the QEW/403's traffic woes worse as the residents try to make it into Burlington and Oakville.

Who actually wants the mid-pen besides developers?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 20:59:25 in reply to Comment 69563

The commute isn't nearly as bad as it could be.


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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2011 at 21:46:04

Has anyone managed to find a solid answer on what Hudak plans to do about the Greenbelt? In everything I've seen he's been remarkably evasive...

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 16:38:57 in reply to Comment 69579

I want to support Hudak in this race because I'm so sick of McGuilty and all of his weasely lies, but messing with the Greenbelt would be a deal breaker for me

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2011 at 16:59:10 in reply to Comment 69628

Same situation as always. The Liberal party bathes in an ocean of stink from their broken promises and scandals, but when you look at their policies and record against the alternatives... they still look like the best option if you care about a balanced policy of environmentalism and business.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2011 at 10:52:27 in reply to Comment 69579

... oh crap.

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By A. Propos (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 13:00:39


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