Waterloo Region still waiting for promise made by province, a decade later

By Justine Fraser

It has been exactly 10-years to the day since the province first promised all-day, two-way go train service for Waterloo Region.

The former Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, made the promise during an announcement on March 18, 2014. When Ford ran against Wynne in 2018, he made the same promise as part of his election campaign.

To date, no timeline or plan for the project to be completed has been given.

Back in 2017, the federal government pledged to provide 40 per cent of the project costs. With more than $752 million on the line, the MP for Kitchener Centre, Mike Morrice, is urging the federal government to call for a timeline on the long-promised GO train service expansion.

“It would be reasonable for the federal government to call on the province for accountability on that significant investment,” said Morrice.

Recently Morrice wrote some questions to the president and CEO of Metrolinx, Phil Verster, asking for a concrete timeline for all-day, two-way go train service.

“My question was when will our community get an update on establishing two-way, all-day train service on the Kitchener line, including service on weekends – and when will Metrolinx commit to a timeline on project completion.”

On March 4, the CEO sent back a two-page long response that did cite some reasons as to why the expansion hasn’t been built yet. Verster wrote that other infrastructure projects have to be completed first to expand service in the region.

Verster added that the Kitchener GO line is a priority for them and they are monitoring ridership levels and travel patterns. Verster told Morrice, some significant infrastructure investments are required in the Halton subdivision in order to increase frequency and capacity in Kitchener.

“Two pages of text, some good information but no timeline included, and so that’s frustrating,” said Morrice.  “It means we collectively, our community, is going to need to continue to put political pressure both federally and provincially to get answers.”

The latest information from the Ford government forecasts a completion date by 2031.

Morrice said his role working for the community is to push for that timeline to be closer to 2025, so people in the community aren’t left behind.

Listen to the full interview with MP Mike Morrice from The Mike Farwell Show here.

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