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article imageToronto meeting discusses why electric trains are the answer Special

By KJ Mullins     Aug 24, 2010 in Environment
Toronto - On Tuesday evening the Condo Owners Association held a meeting "The Air We Breath" at Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto. The issue at hand looked at if diesel trains should be replaced by electric trains.
Local condo owners were invited to the community meeting. They represent 40 percent of the residents of the community. The other 60 percent of the community were not invited to attend the meeting.
The focus of the meeting dealt with the fact that diesel trains are not as safe for the environment as electric trains. Electric trains do not pollute and cause health related issues as do the current diesel trains.
The numbers and studies conducted in the past all come to the same conclusion. Why then has Ontario not changed their mode of transportation? The simple answer is money.
A meeting at Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto discussed the importance of electric trains
A meeting at Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto discussed the importance of electric trains
It costs more in the beginning to have electrified train systems. Those costs are paid for within ten years of completion but for the government that beginning figure is a hurdle they are unwilling at this time to jump.
Olivia Chow, MP, spoke of her experiences as a passenger on an electric train in Copenhagen after telling the audience that most industrial cities have a link to the airport. Toronto does not.
"For 20 years that link has been promised. Nothing has happened."
Chow stated that on the electric train ride she had in Copenhagen it was so smooth that "you could not tell you were on a train."
As a passenger of train service Chow says that the push needs to be for electric, going forward not going backward.
Avrum Regenstreif, Ph.D., of Transport Action Ontario, spoke about the environmental impacts of diesel trains for residents of the downtown core. Each time a train rolls by CO2 and CACs are being thrown into the air including lead. He used a very technical approach but the end message was clear: Electrify sooner now!
Adam Vaughan, City Councilor, said that CityHhall is behind electric trains. The problem lays in Ottawa. That message was echoed by Rosario Marchese, MPP. Marchese told the audience to get their pens out and write to McGuinty in order to make an impact.
"McGuinty promised to provide the funding at some point in the distant future, but without a firm date his statement is nothing more than an empty promise. We need greener infrastructure, a stronger economy and better transportation, not government IOUs."
A meeting at Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto discussed the importance of electric trains
A meeting at Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto discussed the importance of electric trains
The message from the experts is clear. Electric trains are the way of the future. For Toronto and Ontario that message has been heard by the heads of government yet pushed aside because of the initial costs. What though is the cost that is facing the public in terms of the environment and health while residents wait? Asthma has increased in the city. School children in the area often include puffers in their school bags to get through the day.
A meeting at Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto discussed the importance of electric trains
A meeting at Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto discussed the importance of electric trains
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