March 6, 2018

LINDSAY: Local MP Jamie Schmale today expressed his disappointment and frustration over the federal government’s failure to deliver meaningful funding to start work on the much needed Ottawa-Peterborough-Toronto dedicated relief rail line.

“Although I was happy to see positive movement on updating VIA’s current fleet of locomotives and passenger cars, the budget only allocated $8 million over three years to ‘study’ the issue,” said Schmale. “That means it will be at least 2021-22 before we see any forward motion on this file and that isn’t acceptable.”

“Studies have already been done on a high-frequency rail between Quebec City and Toronto, and all are supportive. The time to build is now,” said Schmale. “The population continues to increase in this region and we need our infrastructure to keep pace; we don’t need more studies.”

“Currently, VIA shares the rail lines with freight trains that get priority causing bottlenecks in many cases,” explained Schmale. “The proposed dedicated relief line running from Ottawa-Peterborough-Toronto would avoid those issues raising the top speed of the trains to 177 km/h while at the same time reducing trip times by 25%.”

“While the Transport Minister is mired in further studies, more and more people will be relying on roads to get them to their workplace, many of whom travel into the GTA,” said Schmale. “Without alternatives, congestion on our roadways will increase resulting in a lower quality of life as we spend more time on the roads and less time with our friends and family.”

“This government continues to create self-inflicted delays on file after file, allocating deficit spending measures on priorities that fail to help the daily lives of Canadians,” said Schmale. “It’s time they step up and approve this dedicated relief line and help those they claim to care about,” said Schmale.

For more information contact:

Jamie Schmale, MP

(705) 324-2400 or (866) 688-9881