September 30th, 2011

Olivia Chow moves forward with national transit strategy

?Canada’s mayors, business groups, support New Democrat plan

OTTAWA – New Democrat Transport Critic Olivia Chow gave a major boost to Canada’s cities today, joining forces with municipal and industry groups to introduce a national public transit strategy.

?Chow’s bill is designed to ensure fast, accessible, affordable public transit in cities across the country. It calls for a permanent investment plan for transit systems and innovation research, and calls on different levels of government to work together to ensure quality transit—under the leadership of the federal government.

?“It’s time to get moving on transit,” said Chow. “We see the need in Toronto, in Montreal, in Vancouver, in Calgary—everywhere in Canada where people live and work.”

?Determined to build on Jack Layton’s legacy, Chow vowed to put public transit back on the national agenda. As President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Layton successfully boosted transit funding with a gas tax initiative.

?“Canada has been falling behind, and that is holding us back. We are the only country in the G8 without a national transit strategy. Federal leadership and investment in transit is vital to a healthier economy and a healthier environment. It’s vital to our cities large and small and everyone who lives in them.”

?Canada’s big city mayors have been calling for such a strategy since 2007. The FCM, Canadian Urban Transit Association, Canadian Construction Association and Canadian Chamber of Commerce have all come out in support of a National Public Transit Strategy.