Clean Train Coalition loses legal action

The Clean Train Coalition has lost in court to Metrolinx. Their case was dismissed, and the CTC was told to pay Metrolinx’s court costs–$30,000 according to the CBC.

The CTC was asking for a judicial review of Metrolinx’s decision to purchase diesel trains. They had alleged that the decision was improper because it was rushed to meet the Pan-Am deadline and made before the environmental assessment was completed. The court disagreed.

Metrolinx said in a press release that it “welcomes the Divisional Court’s decision to dismiss the action”.

Suri Weinberg-Linsky, the CTC’s media contact, said

We are disappointed with this bad decision. But the matter is not settled, far from it. We will consider our right to appeal to a higher court. There is a fundamental principle at stake, that citizens have the right to seek legal redress when harmful decisions have been made by public authorities. Metrolinx has failed in its duty to consider alternatives to diesel. The McGuinty Liberals may be happy with this decision, but there will be a price to pay for their disregard of public health.

About the $30,000 in costs that the coalition will have to pay, she said, “we welcome all donations to our website and will consider this in deciding our appeal strategy.”

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

2 thoughts on “Clean Train Coalition loses legal action”

  1. So people who pay taxes now not only breathe diesel fumes that their tax dollars have brought to the neighbourhood, but citizens’ groups are penalized for the court costs of trying to clear the air!

    Metrolinx (with absentee McGuinty’s support) continues to ride roughshod over us, laughing all the way to the bank.

  2. The decision of the Divisional Court:
    http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onscdc/doc/2012/2012onsc6593/2012onsc6593.html
    (extract)
    [17] However, even if this were a case where relief in the nature of certiorari might be available, the applicant’s argument that Metrolinx exceeded its jurisdiction is without merit. Metrolinx decided to accept responsibility for implementing the air-rail link at the request of the Minister of Transportation. It accepted that responsibility knowing of the 2015 deadline for completion in order to provide service for the PanAm games and knowing that DMUs would initially be used on the line. Subsection 19(1) of the Metrolinx Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 16 gives Metrolinx the power to enter into agreements with the Crown for a purpose consistent with its objects. One of its objects, in s. 5(1)(c), is to be responsible for the operation of the regional transit system and the provision of other transit systems. The air-rail link is an extension and expansion of the regional transit system and a priority in Metrolinx’s transportation plan, The Big Move.

    [18] Moreover, in exercising its leadership in the planning, development and implementation of the regional transportation network, Metrolinx is required to comply with provincial transportation plans and policies as they apply to the regional transportation area (s. 5(1)(a)(ii)). Subsections 31(1) and 31(1.1) of the Act, allowing the Minister to provide directives or policy statements, do not preclude Metrolinx from agreeing to accept a project like the air-rail link from the province.

    [19] In addition, the Memorandum of Understanding (“the MOU”) between Metrolinx and the Minister of Transportation provides that the Minister “establishes strategic directions and Government priorities, and develops legislation, regulations, standards, policies and directives” (Article 2.3).

    [20] Given the statutory framework and the terms of the MOU, Metrolinx acted within its authority in agreeing to take over the implementation of the air-rail link project, using diesel, with a projected end date of 2015.

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