Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present a petition from residents of Liberty Village, Parkdale, Roncesvalles, the Junction and Weston, all in the city of Toronto who are calling on the Government of Canada to use electric but not diesel trains in the rail expansion in the Georgetown south rail corridor.
This petition was spearheaded by Peggy Nash and the petitioners note that Metrolinx is planning an eight-fold expansion in diesel rail traffic from 50 trains per day to over 400 trains per day, cutting through the west end neighbourhoods. The expansion will make this the busiest diesel rail corridor on the planet
The petitioners note that exhaust from diesel locomotives is a known danger to public health, linked to respiratory diseases, cancers and premature death. They also note that diesel exhaust poses an especially potent danger to children and the elderly, that it is harmful to the environment and that it contributes to climate change. They are also loud, heavy and disruptive to neighbourhoods and the local quality of life.
Whereas 250,000 people live within one kilometre of this line and 30,000 children attend one of more than 200 schools within a kilometre of the tracks, y the petitioners are asking Parliament to act to ensure the rail expansion of the Georgetown south rail corridor be electrified from the outset and that there be no further expenditure on diesel technology.