Ontario high-speed rail line to be tabled at Queen's Park in May
Amara McLaughlin, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017 10:48PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 25, 2017 10:50PM EDT
The province is planning to table a proposal for a new high-speed rail line to connect major cities in southern Ontario, a CTV News Toronto investigation has learned.
Transport Minister Steven Del Duca will reveal plans at Queen’s Park next month for a new high-speed rail line to ease the burden on Ontario’s increasingly traffic-choked highways.
The Collenette report puts forward a business case for the construction of a high-speed rail link joining Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor, according to Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“We have his report and we’re going to be putting it out very soon because he makes a business case for that in a phased way and I am a big proponent of getting that done,” Wynne said on Tuesday.
This project is part of the province’s $130 billion budget it plans to spend on infrastructure over the next decade to tackle Ontario's traffic-log.
The report is named after former Transport Minister David Collenette, known as Ontario’s czar of high-speed rail. Collenette was appointed by the Liberal government in 2015 to forge a business case for the bullet train and to manage a stakeholder consultation due to his experience as a top federal Liberal cabinet minister.
This intercity connection from Toronto to Windsor is considered key in developing southern Ontario’s economy, Del Duca explained.
But not all details about the new passenger rail service are clear, he added.
“There are multiple definitions for high-speed rail depending on what you’re looking at,” Del Duca told CTV News Toronto. “Some of what we’re encountering in this part of Ontario, the corridor that we’d be looking at essentially does have some physical restrictions. There are specific recommendations in the report regarding the speed of the trains.”
This is because of geographical limitations along its route, he explained.
It is believed the federal government would provide funding as well for the project. Full details of the proposal will be revealed at Queen’s Park in May.