Wynne: ‘Ontario needs a better transit system’

News & Features Apr 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne explains her program of government for the province before the Ethnic Press at Queen’s Park

TORONTO–Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, emphasized the need for investing in transit to ensure Ontario’s success, during her talk before the officers and members of  the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.

Speaking before a packed room of journalists during the organization’s monthly meeting,  April 8, 2012, at Queen’s Park, Wynne noted that there was a need to solve gridlock, especially in the Greater Toronto Hamilton area – a problem affecting its reputation and productivity.

She said it was the only way businesses and industries in Ontario’s major city can become more productive.    It was also what people wanted, she said: to get to work on time every morning and get home to their families at the end of the day.

Wynne also said that her government knows “we want the best education for our children; the best health care for our loved ones, parents and grandparents, but we also want the infrastructure so we can move around.”

She said we need infrastructure and the conditions for business to thrive, so “people can be more engaged” in doing their day-to-day affairs, like  “the need for convenient transit so people can get to work in reasonable time, so people can get home at the end of the day in reasonable time.

Wynne revealed that  in 1910 there was a plan to devleop a transit system across the GTA, but because of the debate about the cost, it did not push through. She said that  if  that plan had been pursued incrementally every year since 1910, “we would have a transport system that would be the envy around the world.”

“I’m determined that in 50 years, there will be another premier, another woman, and I don’t want that premier to say ‘I wish that we had pursued that plan.’”
“Whatever we do, whatever change that happens, we should be able to find $2 billion a year for transit.”

One journalist asked about her position on the casino in Toronto, she said she  was leaving it to each municipality to decide on whether they wanted a casino or not.

Wynne also talked about immigration-related matters, but referred more detailed responses to Michael Coteau, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who was with the Premier.  Asked about the plight of temporary foreign workers, particularly on their  access to immigrant status, Coteau said it is one area they are looking at right now. — M. Astorga-Garcia