November 28, 2013

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force submitted a letter of support to MPP Bill Walker’s office on a resolution to strike a Provincial Rural and Northern Ontario Transportation Committee. Bill Walker Resolution_support letter from BG Poverty Task Force The Committee would be all-party.

In the letter which Bill Walker quoted from in his presentation of the motion the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force stated: 

“We support a committee that will work towards the Government of Ontario 1) creating a vision for what public transportation in rural Ontario should look like in the future, 2) setting standards for public transportation across Ontario and 3) determining what strategies and priorities need to be in place to make the future happen.”

“Best practice studies and examples of other provincial initiatives, such as BC Transit, have demonstrated the benefits of an effective rural public transportation system to increase accessibility to essential services and employment; lead to lower commuting costs for residents and fostering the development of local and regional businesses.”

“We believe that an integrated public transportation solution connecting people and communities will lead to a better quality of life; and more sustainable future for Grey and Bruce County residents.”

All three parties  voted to pass the resolution on the first motion at Queen’s Park.

For video of the debate, go to:    

Walker is quoted as saying “All of us have a stake in taking a more active role in supporting our communities’ transit needs. This committee will be an important first step in achieving that goal, and I’m pleased that all three parties have just agreed to take that first step together.”

Walker said he received widespread support from municipalities, community groups and activists since tabling the resolution two weeks ago.

“There’s no doubt that transportation is an essential component to healthy communities, for youth retention and for our long-term sustainability,” he said. “I hear and see first-hand in my constituency how the lack of a transportation solution negatively impacts my people’s ability to complete the basic every-day tasks, from getting to work and doctors’ appointments to just visiting family and friends.”

Walker said the objective of the committee will be to discuss transportation challenges impacting regions north of the GTA, to come up with effective solutions and then to propose legislative action for those plans.

“To me, the future of the province lies in healthy communities, communities that put food on your table, and give you the mineral-rich Ring of Fire, provide the most in the gas tax funds…you cannot afford to let rural and Northern Ontario fizzle away nor to become non-existent,” he said. “We are the fuel that drives this province, and we will always play a key role in the health and vitality of Ontario.”


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