Campaign to elect Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu in Toronto-Danforth

March 30, 2011 16:51 ET

Green Party Calls for Common Ground on High-speed Rail

"High speed rail on major corridors in Canada. I think it's an idea where all parties can find common ground and agree," said May.

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Environment Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - March 30, 2011) - Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, Green Party of Canada candidate for Toronto-Danforth, announced today that she supports the Green Party's call for all parties to agree on prioritizing a national high-speed rail system.

"As climate change critic for the Green Party, I believe that investment in high speed rail will be important as air travel declines with fossil fuels," said Mugnatto-Hamu. "We are a large country and we need the mobility."

The Green Party is proposing a national project to establish separate high-speed rail lines on the Windsor-Quebec and Calgary-Edmonton corridors, as well on the Halifax-Sydney and Regina-Saskatoon routes. These lines will as much as halve the travel time between major centres. With downtown-to-downtown service and no airport security delays, it will make taking the train faster and easier than flying.

"For example, high speed rail would cut travel time between Calgary and Edmonton by as much as fifty minutes compared to driving - to a busy family trying to fit everything into the day, fifty minutes is a lot," said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. "Not only would the development of high speed rail infrastructure create jobs, but with the average Albertan spending 13% of their total household budget on transportation, it would provide commuters significant savings."

According to the Calgary-Edmonton High Speed Rail Pre-Feasibility Study, the average number of vehicles per family is 1.66 and the average distance traveled is 18,900 km per year, with an average vehicle operating cost of 25 cents per km. Given these costs, a high-speed rail line could save a family up to $4000 per year.

Mugnatto-Hamu said it is important that high-speed rail be planned with adequate community consultation to minimize the impacts on the neighbourhoods through which it runs. "We have had problems in Toronto-Danforth where tracks were upgraded and new lighting was installed on the tracks near Greenwood, right next to residential communities, making it difficult for some residents to sleep at night," said Mugnatto-Hamu. "Had there been better consultation, it could easily have been moved into a more industrial area not far away."

May said the Greens are calling on all parties to agree that Canada will benefit environmentally, socially and economically from investing in high-speed rail on major corridors across the country.

"Building the necessary infrastructure will create jobs. Separating freight from passenger rail traffic will allow both to move faster and cheaper, enhancing Canada's economic competitiveness. And better rail service will take cars off the roads and reduce air travel between major cities, reducing our national greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on our highways.

"High speed rail on major corridors in Canada. I think it's an idea where all parties can find common ground and agree," said May. /For further information: For more information, or to request an interview with Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu,
contact her campaign at 416-273-8247 or adriana@danforthgreens.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Charlie Halpern-Hamu, Campaign Manager
    Primary Phone: 416-427-2177
    Secondary Phone: 416-273-8247
    E-mail: charlie@danforthgreens.ca