Clarington Mayor says ‘Show Me’ to Ford on GO Train announcement


Published May 9, 2022 at 9:16 am

Aaron Vincent Elkaim Canadian Press

Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster may not be from Missouri but after years of promises by two different provincial governments, the recent budget announcement by Premier Doug Ford that the GO Train will be extended to Bowmanville is – right now – just another promise.

Show me, says Foster, who is still waiting for a date for shovels in the ground for the project, which will see four new stations built – at Thornton’s Corners and at Ritson Road in Oshawa and at Courtice and Bowmanville in Clarington – and a promised two-way, all-day 15 minutes service to Bowmanville.

“We need a date,” said Foster while enjoying the annual Maple Fest street party in downtown Bowmanville Saturday. “It’s a campaign promise, not a government promise,”

Foster had all the right things to say after the announcement, calling it a “positive and tangible step forward” for the municipality. “It’s an integral piece of the growth puzzle that will improve the quality of life for thousands of people in Clarington and across the Region.”

But like residents of the Show Me State, he needs more than just words. “We need (Ford) to pin down a date.”

Much has been said about the development bounty Oshawa will enjoy with the new stations: Thornton’s Corners will open a huge swath of land between Highway 401 and Gibb Street and the Ritson Road site – the former home of Knob Hill Farms – will completely rejuvenate a neighbourhood south of downtown that has been forgotten by City planners for more than two decades.

But Foster believes the two Clarington stops will also be a gold mine for development, especially Courtice, an area that is expected be the future home of the new OPG headquarters and a waterfront park. “That’s a complete blank slate right now,” he said.

Ford made the GO Train extension commitment in the pre-election budget – released April 28 – and was in Bowmanville last Friday promising that his government would spend $730 million to build the new stations and bring GO Train service to Bowmanville, saying it will save Ontario families time and money.

The announcement was part of was part of $61.6 billion in transit promises (over ten years) made by the provincial government as voters gear up for the June 2 election.

The Liberals say party leader Steven Del Duca first approved the GO train expansion to Bowmanville when he was transportation minister in 2016 in the previous Liberal government and the Tories delayed it.

Foster, however, is only interested in the project actually getting underway and said when he is given an actual date for construction he will be “ecstatic.”

The Clarington mayor has developed a habit of presenting rose petals as gifts to politicians and others bearing good news for the community and said if Ford puts a shovel in the ground for the expansion, “I’m showing up with a big box of rose petals for him.”

Metrolinx is proceeding with procurement for the project. For more information about the project and to view the business case, visit the Metrolinx Bowmanville Expansion website.

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