Current Minister of Transportation appears to have suggested a Niagara GTA highway doesn’t make sense – hooray! GO is a better deal.



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 15, 2013  The people behind the Save the Escarpment Highway Coalition (SEHC) would have been dancing around their chairs had they been at the Transportation Futures Conference in Toronto last week when Minister of Infrastructure, Glenn Murray said “We’re still very focused on highway development. We’re still very focused in Canada on last century kinds of infrastructure” and later added that “If we think we’re going to do this on a model of build it and they will come we will be spending a lot of money to get poor results. If we go to the model of build it where they want to go, we’ll have a very financially sustainable system.

Probably no need to do another print run of these signs but keep the inventory you have – Tim Hudak might come out of the woodwork.

Back during the last provincial election current Premier Kathleen Wynne, who was the Minister of  Transportation then, said the MOT had to begin thinking of something other than roads when they thought of transportation.  Ontario might just have a minister who is overseeing the building of our transportation systems who is going to change the way we think about transportation and how we move people from place to place.

Glenn Murray, formerly Mayor of Winnipeg for six years, understand cities and the problems related to moving people from where they live to where they work.  When he was made Minister of Infrastructure in the Wynne government he had to tackle the problem that is $34 billion short of its funding needs. 

The province has $50 billion worth of transit and transportation plans it believes we need – just $16 billion of that is funded. Transit is not free but will we re-elect a government that insists we pay for it?

The province has plans that will cost $50 billion to complete with $16 billion of that amount funded – they are looking for a way to raise the balance of $34 billion. Murray adds that transit is not free and that without the right mix of land use and transportation the economy Ontario needs isn’t going to happen.  He points to Pittsburgh, which is not unlike Hamilton – just on a smaller scale. Murray explained to his audience that “The pace of change is sometimes hard to understand. I always suggest that people look at Pittsburgh, which is during the first stage of going through the major economic transformation and gives you a little sense of what’s coming at us in the not too distant future. Pittsburgh in the 1983 and 1984 saw 104 steel mills close in 24 months. As a result of that the city dropped from a population of just over 700,000 to about 360,000.

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4 comments to Current Minister of Transportation appears to have suggested a Niagara GTA highway doesn’t make sense – hooray! GO is a better deal.

  • Walter Byj

    Glenn Murray’s comparison of Hamilton to Pittsburgh is somewhat ludicrous. Yes, both were once steel towns, but it ends there. While the population of Hamilton has grown, much of it is attributed to expanding it’s boundaries. Pittsburgh has not changed it’s city limits for over half a century. In fact, parts of Pittsburgh have been razed when expanding their street and highways. Although the city population has been dropping since 1950, the suburban area has been growing and the area has a population over two million. Pittsburgh has 3 major league teams, Hamilton has the Ti-Cats. Pittsburgh has a multitude of universities and colleges, while Hamilton has two. Pittsburgh has re-invented itself and is a phoenix rising above the smoke. This is not a slam against Hamilton, rather it is admiration as to how the arts, business and educational institutions rallied together to form a new path.
    Also Murray stated that Pittsburgh is producing more steel than they ever did before. We must be referencing different data, as this is not the information that I have studied.
    I just wish that politicians would be more thorough in their research.

  • Resident

    GO transit works for congestion in the the 905 zone. The BIG Move mentions high speed rail but does not follow up. If people are going to have fewer cars (and trucks), then high speed tranport over longer distances also becomes important. If there is a new or better rail line across Niagara region, it should/must tie in with any American line through Buffalo and on to ther other states.

    • M. Dennis

      Two under used rail lines already exist across the Niagara region. With a slight addition one of them could even service Hamilton’s Airport.
      The width of the existing rail corridors is enough to accommodate 4 lines which now have 1. This would completely eliminate the need for any more highways.
      The only thing lacking is the political will.