All-day GO train plan may be delayed for Mississauga and Milton residents
Published April 29, 2022 at 2:42 pm
A plan to expand the Milton GO train line that would benefit tens of thousands of Mississauga residents and workers could be indefinitely delayed after the Ontario government failed to set aside money for the initiative in its latest budget, Mississauga Centre MP and federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra fears.
In a phone interview with insauga.com late Thursday afternoon, immediately after the provincial government revealed details of its financial blueprint, Alghabra said he was “shocked” there was no mention of the proposed $1 billion GO project in the Province’s plans.
The significant transit initiative, an acknowledged priority for both Alghabra and the City of Mississauga, would see provincial and federal governments jointly fund the train line’s expansion to all-day, two-way service.
The move would greatly ease bottlenecks along the line, which runs from Union Station in Toronto to Milton, by way of a large section of Mississauga.
Mississauga Centre MP and federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says he is “shocked” the Ontario government seems to have overlooked in its budget a commitment to a Milton GO train expansion project.
Alghabra has said on several occasions within the last year that Ottawa’s $500 million share of the cost is on the table, and that he’s been waiting for a similar funding commitment from the Ontario government.
“I’m very disappointed and frustrated…shocked as to why there was no mention of the Milton GO expansion in the Province’s budget today,” said Alghabra, adding tens of thousands of Mississauga residents have been asking for the expanded service for years.
“It’s not often the federal government comes forward with half-a-billion dollars on the table, and (the Province) has yet to do the same. I’m going to keep hoping they’ll change their mind and find the money for this project…I’m not telling the people of Mississauga that this (GO expansion) will never happen, but this will delay it.”
Adding to Alghabra’s frustration, he notes, is that the proposed GO train plan has widespread support, including from Mississauga MPPs.
Furthermore, he says, the provincial government has offered encouraging signs the past year or so with respect to getting the Milton GO expansion off the ground.
“…but I have yet to see a financial commitment,” Alghabra said. “I don’t really understand.”
The Mississauga MP also hinted that the $500 million from Ottawa wouldn’t remain on the table forever waiting for a commitment from the Ontario government.
Alghabra said he plans to reach out to the office of his provincial counterpart, Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, to get answers.
In an interview late last year with insauga.com, Alghabra said the Milton GO project is crucial to him.
“That’s incredibly important to me. I want to make that a reality…and we’ll work with the Province (of Ontario) to get it done,” Alghabra said at the time.
Local politicians and others have been clamouring for years to have the Milton GO train route expanded.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising