TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2013 – York University’s students and faculty will have the chance to pose their transit questions to the Honourable Olivia Chow, federal NDP MP for the downtown Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina on Thursday, Jan. 31, from 7 to 8pm. Chow will present her plan, “End Gridlock, Get Canada Moving”, in a public lecture on York’s Keele campus.
Chow, the official opposition’s transport and infrastructure critic, will discuss transit issues and solutions, including the need for a national transportation strategy, followed by a discussion with the audience. Her plan calls for an organized effort to improve commute times and fill a $13.5 billion funding gap essential to complete transit upgrades and expansion across Canada. This will require all three levels of government to build and maintain workable transportation systems.
“Gridlock is costing our urban economies dearly – $6 billion in Toronto alone – and suburban and rural areas are left disconnected,” says Chow.
That disconnect is part of the reason the York’s Canadian Studies program invited Chow to campus.
“Part of the role of the federal government is to strengthen economic links between regions,” said Professor Jon Sufrin, Canadian Studies program coordinator. “One of the best ways to improve efficiency is with strong, well-funded public transit. York students know full well how much time and productivity they lose standing around waiting for buses, and trying to get to and from campus.”
“Transit, like most of the issues modern Canada faces, is an extremely complex problem,” says third-year Canadian Studies student Thomas Berton. “To properly address it, we need a combination of perspectives: political, economic, environmental and social. But Canadians have a talent for devising solutions from pluralistic approaches.”
The “Olivia@York” event will take place at 135 Vanier College. Chow will remain after the event for an informal reception in Vanier’s Renaissance Room.
More information on the National Transit Strategy and Olivia Chow is located at www.oliviachow.ca.
“Olivia@York” is produced by the Keele campus Canadian Studies Program, with generous assistance from the Departments of Political Science, Geography and the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. Consult the Canadian Studies website for more information.
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