Ontario announces SW Ontario Transportation Task Force

By Transport Action | Ontario

Jan 26
VIA train with stainless steel coaches

Following up on Connecting the Southwest: A Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario launched in January 2020, the province of Ontario has now convened a committee of regional municipal and indigenous leaders to work on details of implementation.

Establishing a Southwest Task Force was one of more than 40 recommendations set out in the draft plan, and the committee is expected to meet regularly over the next 12 months.

The initial members of the Southwest Task Force are:

  • Mayor Ed Holder: Mayor of London (Chair)
  • Mayor Drew Dilkens: Mayor of Windsor (Vice Chair)
  • Mayor Joe Preston: Mayor of St. Thomas
  • Mayor Hilda MacDonald: Mayor of Leamington
  • Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden: Mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc
  • Chief Jason Henry: Chief of Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
  • Councillor Sidney Nadjiwon: Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
  • Marta Leardi-Anderson: Chair, Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited
  • Tania Lee: Vice President, Blue Water Bridge Duty Free Shop

The draft regional plan included a mention of enhancing VIA Rail services over existing corridors, and several other policy themes that Transport Action Ontario and its regional partners the Southwestern Ontario Transportation Alliance, InterCity Rail, and Rail Advocacy in Lambton have been promoting for many years, including further enhancement of the recently revitalized intercommunity bus network, improving connections between rail, bus and local transit services across the region, and ensuring that transportation planning is informed by local needs and considerations.

Transport Action has reached out to offer our collaboration with the task force’s efforts.

The province’s plan can be found at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/connecting-southwest-draft-transportation-plan-southwestern-ontario

Photo by Steve Boyko: VIA Train #73 departing London, August 2017