York South-Weston MP Mike Sullivan upped the ante in the Commons on Tuesday 19th when he pointed out that the World Health Organization has declared diesel exhaust to be as carcinogenic as asbestos, arsenic or mustard gas. He demanded that the Federal and Provincial governments get their acts together and electrify the Air Rail Link corridor that runs through the heart of Weston. Sullivan says the corridor,
will be the busiest diesel corridor on the planet and, given the new evidence, 300,000 local residents will be subjected to carcinogenic exhaust.
With the provincial Liberals mired in minority government status and dependent on either the PCs or NDP to pass legislation, it is possible that NDP Leader Andrea Horwath could be persuaded to make this a do-or-die project. Horwath has already successfully played hardball and modified aspects of Dwight Duncan’s budget. She may relish a further opportunity to make a healthy change for thousands of people.
We can only hope.
Incidentally, the environmental assessment process studying the effects of electrification of the whole GO network is proceeding slowly as planned. Those of us who are cynical think it’s a delaying tactic to distract from the unwavering plan to install diesel trains between Pearson and Union Station.