Ontario Appoints Chair to Drive High Speed Rail Project Forward
Ontario has appointed the Honourable David Collenette to lead Ontario’s High Speed Rail (HSR) Planning Advisory Board–continuing progress to bring high speed rail service to the province and cut travel times between Toronto and Windsor.
Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation, and Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre, were in Waterloo today to announce Mr. Collenette’s appointment. A former federal Minister of Transport, Mr. Collenette was the province’s special advisor for high speed rail. As Chair of the HSR Planning Advisory Board, Mr. Collenette will continue to provide strategic support and advise government on this landmark project.
“I am pleased to announce Mr. Collenette’s appointment as Chair of Ontario’s HSR Planning Advisory Board and I look forward to working with him as we move forward to build Canada’s first high speed rail line. High speed rail will connect communities in our province as never before, creating new opportunities and increasing transportation choices for people across Southwestern Ontario.”— Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation
The introduction of HSR would be a first in Canada, connecting communities from Toronto to Windsor as part of Ontario’s Innovation SuperCorridor. High speed trains would travel at up to 250 kilometres per hour on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors. This would cut travel times between these major centres from over four hours to just over two. HSR will help businesses attract the best talent and boost their productivity, and help Ontario make the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Moving forward with high speed rail is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario will continue to engage with Indigenous communities and municipalities while the environmental assessment, design work and ridership forecasting are completed.
- The HSR line would serve a corridor that is home to more than seven million people. The proposed stops are Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.
- As Ontario’s Special Advisor for High Speed Rail, Mr. Collenette authored the high-speed-rail-in-ontario-final-report.
- Ontario is working to appoint individuals with a breadth and depth of expertise to the high speed rail advisory board, including high tech, engineering, environmental sciences, transportation planning, and financing and delivery of infrastructure projects. It will include representation from agricultural and business communities, Indigenous communities, and others from across southwestern Ontario, and provide strategic advice on major business issues associated with the project.
- Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, go online.