Open Letter to David Collenette Asking for Public Meeting in Oxford on High Speed Rail

Hon. David Collenette

High Speed Rail Advisory Board

C/O Ministry of Transportation

3rd Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z8


February 23, 2018


Dear Mr. Collenette,


I am writing to you today regarding your appointment as the Chair to the High Speed Rail Planning Advisory Board. As the former Federal Minister of Transportation and the province’s special advisor for high speed rail, you have likely heard many concerns about the development of high speed rail lines.


Many residents of my riding of Oxford have concerns regarding the proposed high speed rail route. As Chair of the Planning Advisory Board, I ask that you and the rest of the Board visit Oxford and hold a public meeting to hear their concerns.


As you know, the proposed Toronto-Windsor rail corridor primarily runs through agricultural land, some of it the most productive in Canada. The environmental assessment must consider the impact on farmers and residents on this land and consider alternative routes.


The proposed changes could also mean the closure of many level crossings at country side-roads that are important for the production and delivery of farm products. This is another concern that must be addressed through the environmental assessment process. Additionally, there are concerns that the closure of level crossings and rerouting of streets as a result of high speed rail could make it harder for emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances to arrive at emergencies. I wrote to the Premier last year to raise these concerns, but I do not believe the government has been listening. That is why I want you to come and hear them directly from the community.


As the government goes forward in the environmental assessment process, the Advisory Board must take time to hear from the agriculture sector and rural communities.


I am happy to work with you to set up the public meeting to ensure the people of Oxford have their concerns heard.







Ernie Hardeman, MPP