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.”

GO noise meeting tomorrow

GO Transit will be hosting a meeting tomorrow to inform residents about its noise and vibration mitigation plans. This does not sound exciting, but it may be one of those meetings you wish you had attended.

GO and Metrolinx, as every Westonian knows, are expanding the Georgetown lines that run through Weston, and they have been building from the south to the north. Other neighbourhoods have complained bitterly about the noise of the construction, and have even sued to have the project assessed. The noise and vibration were found to be “unreasonable.”

The meeting will be at Tuesday, November 15, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Road. If you can’t attend, there will be two other meetings.

Weston Treasures: Weston GO Station

Weston is lucky to have access to downtown in 17 minutes via the GO train. Just to put that in perspective, TTC subway from Royal York to Union involves a line change and takes 33 minutes on a good day. Property values around Royal York Station are astronomical in no small part because of the subway. Here in Weston, we can get downtown in half the time and don’t have to change trains. The only thing faster to downtown than the GO from Weston is a helicopter. Unfortunately GO’s service is a commuter run only with 7 Union Station bound trains in the morning and 6 Weston bound trains in the evening (go figure).

According to InsideToronto.com about 450 people get on or off at Weston each day. Assuming that most are on a return trip, that’s fewer than 250 actual people. The lack of parking at the station has long been cited as a problem. Weston’s GO station’s new location just south of Lawrence Avenue later this year may help. The relocation will almost double the number of parking spots to 200 and access will be from Weston Road. A temporary platform will be in place by November and a fully functioning station, platforms and even more parking will be ready for the opening of the Airport Rail Link in 2015. GO transit is anticipating an increase in ridership from Weston with the additional parking spots and a doubling of service levels in 2015 by which time the Airport Rail Link will be making stops here too. With electrification of the line, the service will be quieter and even faster.

The new Weston GO station should help revitalize the Village of Weston as 2015 approaches, if it’s constructed to reflect the wishes of the community. Congratulations and thanks should be extended to those fighting for a better implementation of the Airport Link stop as well as to those fighting for electrification.