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Ontario Federation of Agriculture Criticism of High Speed Rail Flawed


Ontario Federation of Agriculture Criticism of High Speed Rail Flawed

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is objecting to the proposed High Speed Rail line for Ontario.

 President Keith Currie stated to CBC that. “You're looking at a line that cannot be crossed at a level of crossing ... That essentially is going to be dividing the province in half."

 It is disheartening to read his comments because it clearly shows the anti-high speed rail opinion is based on rhetoric and not fact.

 The reality is the study is not even been done stating exactly where the route will go or how it will be built. True high speed rail is grade separated from roads. If people would wait for the study to be completed they could see that many of the problems brought forward by the OFA can be remediated in the design stage.

 Mr. Currie’s comments about the high speed rail being urban-centric are narrow minded.

 When rural Ontario gets new recreation centres/arenas it is not the rural centres tax base that pays for that. Yet nobody in larger cities complain when small town Ontario gets these facilities and only they benefit from them. It is rural-centric but that is not the way we think as society. We do what is best for society as a whole.

 There will still be slow trains still running on the existing line when high speed rail is built.

Therefore smaller communities on the existing rail line would still get service. If Mr. Currie and the OFA were truly concerned about passenger rail in Ontario why have they not been lobbying VIA Rail to improve the absolutely abysmal service they have provided to St. Mary’s and communities along the line for decades.

 When I fought for VIA Rail service improvements for 20 years along the existing North Main Line between London and Kitchener I never once saw the OFA at a meeting.

 It is unfortunate that the OFA comes out against high speed rail without seeing the completed study and using outdated rural vs urban arguments.

1 comment:

  1. Details are important. First, the President of the OFA is Keith Currie, not Ken. Second, and most importantly, OFA’s position is not to oppose High-Speed Rail (at this time).

    We have indicated that we see little, if any benefit for rural Ontario and our farm businesses and that we are skeptical of any net benefit for Ontario - rural and urban.

    That is why we are calling for a comprehensive economic impact study for the High-Speed Rail proposal as well as a comprehensive study for the alternative proposal for High-Performance Rail.

    Our position statement is available at www.ofa.on.ca/issues/high-speed-rail

    Details are important!

    Sincerely,
    Neil Currie
    General Manager, OFA
    (no relation to Keith Currie)

    ReplyDelete