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Collenette suggests shifting freight from road to rail

OTTAWA, Ont. - The federal government wants to reduce traffic congestion and help the environment by taking trucks off Hwy. 401.Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is part of the Liberals' fall agenda, ...


OTTAWA, Ont. – The federal government wants to reduce traffic congestion and help the environment by taking trucks off Hwy. 401.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is part of the Liberals’ fall agenda, a major component of the Liberals’ cities strategy revealed in the throne speech delivered by Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson Sept. 30.

Transport Minister David Collenette says the government will “introduce a new strategy for a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system that will help reduce congestion in our cities and bottlenecks in our trade corridors.”

He says he will bring a new transportation blueprint to cabinet this fall.

The federal plan would shift more truck traffic to rail and water, Collenette says, freeing up the overtaxed Hwy. 401 for carpooling and cutting down on truck emissions in urban areas, including the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

“We have to do this,” Collenette tells the Toronto Star. “It’s being done in Europe and more and more, it is being done in the U.S. It comes down to a choice for communities – do people opt to have more frequent, high-speed freight trains in the community or have more and more trucks on their roads, competing with other traffic and fouling the environment?” asks Collenette.

For the reaction of the Canadian trucking industry, see page 60.


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