The recent Ontario budget contained a welcome sign of progress on the initiative to bring all-day, year round GO train service to Niagara, the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) says in a news release.
The budget reads: “The Province will continue working with regions, communities, other levels of government, and private partners to design and select the next generation of infrastructure investments that will improve the competitiveness of Ontario’s communities, enhance productivity, promote innovation and develop new economic opportunities, such as: Subject to agreement with freight rail partners, two-way, all-day rail services on the Kitchener and Milton GO corridors, and extension of GO rail service to Niagara and Bowmanville.”
GNCC president and CEO Mishka Balsom said: “The GNCC has been a strong supporter of the Niagara GO initiative from its inception, and we are proud to have worked tirelessly alongside many other advocates and the business community to make Niagara GO a reality.”
Whenever GNCC staff talked to Niagara’s MPPs, they stressed the need for GO, and asked that our representatives continue to work for it at Queen’s Park.
In the GNCC’s pre-budget recommendations to Finance Minister Charles Sousa, they made the request for GO again, citing the strong anticipated cost-benefit ratio and the jobs that would be created by the service.
“We are delighted to see that the hard work of so many in Niagara who are trying to bring the GO train here is getting the attention of the Government of Ontario,” Balsom said. “This service is a key part of Niagara’s future success and prosperity. We hope that we will see a timeline for its commencement soon.
The GNCC believes that Niagara’s connections to the rest of the Golden Horseshoe, the province, the country, and the world are of paramount importance to the community’s prosperity.
For these reasons, the GNCC has made transit and transportation a top policy priority, including GO train.
The service will be instrumental both in opening new labour markets for Niagara workers and in opening new talent pools for Niagara employers.
A boost in Niagara tourism from GTHA residents looking to enjoy Niagara’s many attractions is certain, as is growth in the conference trade.
Lastly, Niagara can look forward to attracting new residents who will continue to work in the GTHA but prefer to enjoy Niagara’s lower housing prices and superior quality and pace of life, the GNCC news release says.