Ontario Launches Southwestern Ontario Transportation Task Force
Advisory group will ensure transportation plans reflect the diverse voices within the community
January 26, 2021
LONDON – Today, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, announced a locally based transportation task force in southwestern Ontario. The Southwest Task Force will focus on improving connections between transportation modes such as rail, bus, and local transit services across the region and will ensure that transportation planning is informed by local needs and considerations.
“We’re working to address transportation needs in regions across Ontario and feedback from leaders who live and work in the local community will be essential,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “The Southwest Task Force will ensure transportation plans for the southwest reflect the diverse voices within the community and help determine the most important transportation needs in the region.”
Establishing a Task Force was one of more than 40 recommendations set out in Connecting the Southwest: A Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario. The Task Force includes representation from southwestern mayors and Indigenous communities and will meet regularly over the next 12 months. Through consultation and discussion, the Task Force will look at ways to improve transportation in the region and present recommendations to the Ontario government.
The Southwest Task Force members are:
Mayor Ed Holder (Chair): Mayor of London
Mayor Drew Dilkens (Vice Chair): Mayor of Windsor
Mayor Joe Preston: Mayor of St. Thomas
Mayor Hilda MacDonald: Mayor of Leamington
Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden: Mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc
Chief Jason Henry: Chief of Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
Councillor Sidney Nadjiwon: Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
Marta Leardi-Anderson: Chair, Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited
Tania Lee: Vice President, Blue Water Bridge Duty Free Shop
Additional members will be confirmed at a later date.
“I am honoured to lead this Task Force, and look forward to collaborating with my colleagues across the region to develop transportation solutions that will better serve not only our individual municipalities, but southern Ontario at large,” said Mayor of London, Ed Holder. “Improving how people get around their communities, how they travel across Ontario, and how they travel to and from work are all absolutely essential components of building a strong post-COVID economy. We are tremendously excited to get moving on this important work.”
“I’m pleased to get started on the exciting work to better connect the economically diverse communities in southwestern Ontario,” said Mayor of Windsor, Drew Dilkens. “As our region has grown over the past few years, our transit and transportation networks have just not kept up. Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney have demonstrated that they are aware of the infrastructure needs of our region, but through this Task Force, the government is allowing regional leaders to have a major role in shaping the road ahead.”
- Ontario is developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system to keep goods and people moving across the province, starting with the plans for southwestern and northern regions of the province.
- The southwestern plan defines the region as extending from Essex County in the west and south, Norfolk County in the east and Bruce and Grey Counties in the north.
- Southwestern Ontario is home to 1.6 million people in 88 municipalities, 10 First Nations communities and five Métis Community Councils.
- Over $1.1 billion worth of goods travel on southwestern Ontario roads every day.
- From January 17, 2020 to March 17, 2020, over 1,400 people shared feedback on ways to improve the transportation system for southwestern Ontario.
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