Motion calling for province to reveal all-day, 2-way GO plan fails

Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo's private member's motion asking for the government to provide a plan for all-day, two-way GO train service for Waterloo region by June 6 failed to pass on Thursday afternoon.

PC MPPs say they agree all-day 2-way GO is necessary but didn't like 'motive' for motion

A private member's motion by Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo asking the provincial government to lay out its plan for two-way, all-day GO trains between Kitchener and Toronto failed to pass Thursday afternoon. (CBC News)

It was the battle of Waterloo region MPPs in the provincial legislature Thursday afternoon over two-way, all-day GO trains.

Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo introduced a private member's motion that asked the provincial government to provide a timeline and financial plan for when two-way, all-day GO trains will operate to Waterloo region.

Lindo said she wanted that timeline and plan by June 6, the last day the provincial legislature will sit before rising for the summer.

But Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris Jr. and Kitchener South-Hespeler MPP Amy Fee said they wouldn't support Lindo's motion.

Harris called Lindo's motion "unhelpful political games" while Fee said Lindo is trying to "trick" residents in Waterloo region into thinking there's a problem with delivering two-way, all-day GO.

"Where I and my colleagues strongly disagree with the opposition and the reason why I'll be not supporting this motion today is on the motives and its approach," said Harris.

Lindo's motion failed to be passed by a vote of 51-22.

Similar motion passed in 2017

Lindo said there's support from businesses, commuters and advocacy groups, including Connect the Corridor which is made up of business leaders in both Waterloo region and Toronto.

She noted a similar motion was made by Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife in December 2017.

"Everybody support it. It passed," Lindo said.

During the election, Premier Doug Ford said they would fund two-way, all-day GO trains to the region.

"This is a promise that was made," she said. "People in my riding believed that."

Lindo said she and Fife had asked Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek for a meeting. They didn't get one, but they did receive a letter back.

"But we didn't get a plan," Lindo said.

Fife also spoke in favour of the motion, saying the commute by bus took Lindo three hours on Tuesday.

"This is not an acceptable condition," she said.

She noted that in 2017, the Progressive Conservatives supported her previous motion. The motion passed unanimously and asked for a timeline by April 2018. The previous Liberal government did not provide a timeline.

As Fife spoke, Harris was called to order for yelling across the aisle.

"I've hit a nerve on the member because you're totally disconnected from the real needs of the Waterloo region," Fife said.

'Move past the political games'

Yurek promised in January to reveal plans for the corridor in 12 to 18 months.

Harris said the government has made efforts to bring two-way, all-day GO trains to the region and highlighted added train cars and an extra train since they were elected last June.

"These are incredible achievements for such a young government," he said.

"I encourage the NDP members for Kitchener-Centre and Waterloo to move past the political games," he added.

Fee said the three Progressive Conservative MPPs and Yurek have worked for hours on the issue.

"I cannot support this motion because our government's approach to negotiation train times with CN is working," she said.

She said the government is committed to two-way, all-day GO service and expanding service elsewhere in the province.

"This is a goal that is shared by all in this house," Fee said, saying the NDP were playing "partisan politics with this issue in hopes of tricking people in Waterloo region into believing their false narrative by questioning our commitment to GO service to Kitchener."


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