Madam Speaker, I have two petitions.
My first petition concerns Metrolinx and the use of diesel trains. A plan to establish a rail link from Pearson Airport to Union Station in downtown Toronto would result in an eight-fold expansion of diesel rail traffic, from 50 to over 400 trains per day in the Georgetown corridor, which cuts through west end neighbourhoods, in Parkdale High Park and in my neighbourhood.
This expansion would make this the busiest diesel rail corridor on the planet. Exhaust from diesel locomotives is a known danger to public health and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, cancers and premature death. Diesel exhaust poses an especially potent danger to children and the elderly. Diesel trains are harmful to the environment and contribute to climate change. They are also heavy, loud and are disruptive to neighbourhoods and the local quality of life. Over 250,000 people live within one kilometre of this line.
Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon Parliament to ensure that the rail expansion in the Georgetown south rail corridor, including the air rail link be electrified from the outset and that there be no further expenditure on diesel technology.