P3 to launch strategic transportation plan for S Ontario

TORONTO — With a mandate to create an integrated transportation system for the 21st century, the Southern Ontario Gateway Council was officially launched this week in Toronto.

Patterned after successful Gateway Councils operating in Vancouver and Halifax, the public-private council is a broad coalition of transportation stakeholders, including the region’s trucking and manufacturing firms, airports, ports, the rail industry, and public transit.

Membership also includes most southern Ontario municipalities, several boards of trade and municipal economic development departments.

One of SOGC’s priorities is to promote enhancements
and expansion of the highway network

SOGC Chair Richard Koroscil says the challenges of maintaining Southern Ontario’s competitiveness in the global marketplace will require an unprecedented level of coordination in transportation policy and infrastructure planning that must involve all levels of government as well as the private sector.

“Until recently, transportation and land use planning have often been addressed at a local level with minimum co-ordination between communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area,” he said. “We recognize that the future will require close partnership between all transportation stakeholders – public and private.”

In its strategic plan, SOGC has identified 4 priorities:

Infrastructure and Funding: Strategic enhancements and expansion of the existing network.

Network Efficiency: Maximizing use of all four transportation modes to get maximum efficiency out of the system.

Integrated Planning: Ensuring that land-use planning protects existing transportation corridors. Promoting region-wide as opposed to strictly local planning.

Borders, Security and Safety: Ensuring that the movement of Ontario goods across the U.S. border is seamless to the end user in terms of cost and timing.

“We’ve set some ambitious goals,” noted Koroscil, “but with the great support we are getting from the senior governments and our own members we are extremely optimistic about the ability of transportation in Ontario to meet the tremendous increase in demands it is facing.”

Federal Transportation Minister Lawrence Cannon and Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield will act as honorary co-chairs of the council.

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