2-way, all-day Kitchener-Toronto train 'has to happen,' says Patrick Brown
PC leader talks transit, minimum wage and who he is in interview
Two-way, all-day GO train service between Waterloo region and Toronto is "absolutely important and it has to happen," says Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown.
In an interview with CBC K-W's The Morning Edition host Craig Norris, Brown said he has sat down with tech leaders and has heard their calls for an innovation corridor between the two cities. They've repeatedly said they need commuter transit in order to grow.
But Brown said the governing Liberals broke their 2014 promise, because all-day, two-way GO is not yet in place.
"You have to have good infrastructure to move people, to move product, and we're not getting that in this important corridor," he said.
"I'm going to make sure that, by managing our infrastructure dollars properly that we have the funds available to make sure that we get that corridor."
Province's transit promise
The province has promised to implement two-way, all-day GO train service, but it's not expected to be up and running until 2024. This is partly due to $752 million in funding from the federal government to build new tracks and improve bridges and stations, announced earlier this year.
In May, Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Kitchener to announce high-speed rail would be a reality between Toronto and London by 2025.
Wynne said seven million people live along the corridor between Toronto and Windsor and the current transportation options just aren't good enough.
"This is where our economy thrives, is along that corridor," she said. "It's exactly what our economy needs."
High-speed rail 'a great goal'
When asked about high-speed rail, Brown said he has "no faith" the Liberals will be able to deliver on their promise.
He hesitated when asked if he supports the project.
"Do I think a great goal? Absolutely. Do I think it's something that's worthy for us to go after? Absolutely. But we need to manage the infrastructure funding and spending properly and right now we're getting no value for money on infrastructure spending," Brown said.
In the interview, which Brown gave shortly before taking part in a pickup street hockey game at The Aud Tuesday afternoon, Brown also gave his thoughts on the increase in the minimum wage to $15. As well, he offered voters some information about his background and what will make him a good premier.
Ontario goes to the polls next spring in a provincial general election.
Listen to the whole interview:
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