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Ontario Hansard - 12-May2004

Mr Frank Klees (Oak Ridges): I'm pleased to welcome representatives from the rail industry in Ontario to the House today. Thanks to the previous government, major improvements in the rail net are now underway in this province. Soon we'll see GO service to Barrie. We'll see grade separations increase commuter capacity on north-south spokes from the GTA without affecting freight capacity.

In opposition, the Liberals spoke very freely about making wild promises that didn't work with the competing demands of freight and commuter rail, so I'm pleased to see they're adopting our vision of rail service in the province of Ontario.

The Canadian rail industry has worked hard to become more efficient over the last number of years. Productivity per employee has doubled over the last decade within that industry, and rail's embrace of intermodal business models has been an important factor in the overall competitiveness of Ontario's economy.

All that this industry is looking for now is a level playing field in the area of taxation and a number of other areas that affect public policy. Given the benefits rail can bring to reducing gridlock in our communities across the province and in fighting pollution, I believe that that respect is the very least we can do to support this industry through our public policy. I trust this government will see the wisdom of doing exactly that.


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