June 25th, 2019

NDP: Liberal Plan for High-Speed Train Development Falls Short

TROIS-RIVIÈRES – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP Transportation Critic Robert Aubin expressed their confusion at the Liberal government’s announcement of their intention to fund another study in conjunction with the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to review Via Rail’s proposal for the High-Speed Rail project in the Quebec City-Toronto Corridor.

“High-speed rail is a promising project that will stimulate regional economies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and simplify the lives of many people. I am proud of Robert Aubin’s work on this issue. He has long recognized the potential of high-speed rail and he’s worked hard to pressure Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to recognize the need for the project,” said Singh. “Unfortunately, what the Liberals have announced today is disappointing. At the end of their mandate, this Liberal government has only done studies and what they’ve announced yet again does not guarantee the construction of high-speed rail.”

The high-speed rail project has consensus among main economic and social development actors. In addition to creating good quality jobs, the project will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. By creating paths dedicated to passenger transportation, this public transit project will allow retirees, business people, workers and students to move quickly and comfortably through the country’s most populated corridor.

“People are really disappointed to learn that the announcement was not about the project’s construction, but yet another step that does not guarantee it will be acted upon,” said Aubin. “It seems easier for Minister Morneau to invest $4.5 billion in a pipeline than for Minister Garneau to invest the same $4.5 billion in infrastructure projects for communities living in the most densely-populated corridor in Canada. We can clearly see where the priorities of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals lie!”

The NDP believes that fighting climate change is an opportunity to improve people’s lives. In their environment plan, entitled Power to Change: A New Deal for Climate Action, New Democrats outlined their commitment to moving forward with high-frequency rail. This project is part of the NDP’s transportation electrification strategy.