'Let's move,' say business, labour, community leaders
TORONTO, July 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Twenty-seven leaders have stepped forward
as the first wave of Regional Transportation Champions today, joining
the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance to give people a say on what a better transportation system
means to them, and what they're willing to do to make it better.
The group's reach is broad, collectively representing over 2 million
employees, students, customers, and members across the Greater Toronto
and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
"We need to move people and goods quickly and easily for our region to
be a great place to live, work, play and invest, and yet we're decades
behind in making that happen," said John Tory, Chair of CivicAction. "Everyone agrees we have a crisis on our hands.
We want to give residents a way to say, 'we need a better system, and
we need to find sustainable ways to pay for it'."
Campaign this fall: CivicAction, together with its Regional Transportation Champions
Council, will launch a campaign this fall to kick-start a region-wide
conversation. The campaign will invite people to share why
transportation is important to them, and what they are willing to do
about it. Everyone needs to be part of the discussion - transit and road users, taxpayers,
and residents and organizations in all GTHA municipalities.
The Regional Transportation Champions are motivated by the major
obstacles they face in moving their people and goods across the GTHA,
and come from business, not for profit, labour, and community
organizations (see list below). During the campaign, they will take
this conversation to their communities through in-person and online
forums, and CivicAction will bring the consensus back to governments on
what matters to people, and what actions they want governments to take
to invest in a better system.
"We're a region that's growing and should be on the move, but we're
stuck in neutral," said Mitzie Hunter, CEO of CivicAction. "It's hampering our business productivity, the
health of our neighbourhoods, easy access to jobs and schools, and our
everyday quality of life. It's time to get moving faster."
Provincial agency Metrolinx will submit an Investment Strategy to the
province and region's municipal governments by no later than June 1,
2013 with its recommendations on how to pay for an improved network to
serve the GTHA. For governments to act boldly, they'll need to see that
the region's leaders and residents support greater investment in our
regional transportation system, and agree that governments need
sustainable ways to pay for it, says Hunter.
Calling for Local Champions: CivicAction is calling for other leaders to join the campaign when it
launches in the fall. The campaign will take place alongside efforts by
Toronto Board of Trade, CivicAction's Emerging Leaders Network's Move
Me! group, and other organizations to give residents a voice in moving
governments to act. Leaders interested in taking the conversation out
to their communities can sign up at http://www.civicaction.ca/regional-transportation
Here is the first wave of Regional Transportation Champions Council
Paul Bedford, Adjunct Professor, Urban & Regional Planning, University of Toronto
and Ryerson University
Joe Berridge, Founding Partner, Urban Strategies
Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF Canada
Michael Cooper, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman, Dundee REIT
David Crombie, President, David Crombie & Associates
Patrick Dillon, Business Manager, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council
Kirk Dudtschak, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Human Resources, Canadian Banking,
Howard Eng, President & CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)
Phillip Haid, Co-Founder and CEO, Public Inc.
Abdul Hai Patel, Director - Interfaith and External Relations, Canadian Council of
Mitzie Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance
Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO, Oxford Properties
Duncan Jackman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, E-L Financial
Faye Lyons, Executive Director, CAA South Central Ontario
Rob MacIsaac, President, Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology
Yohan Mahimwala, CivicAction Emerging Leaders Network member
Graeme McKay, Vice-President, Ontario Government, Healthcare & Higher Education, IBM
Tim McTiernan, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Ontario Institute of
Peter Menkes, President, Commercial/Industrial, Menkes Developments
David Naylor, President, University of Toronto
Mike Pedersen, Group Head, Wealth Management, Insurance & Corporate Shared Services,
TD Bank Group
Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada
John Sullivan, President and CEO, Cadillac Fairview Corporation
Frank Techar, President and CEO, Personal and Commercial Banking Canada, BMO Bank of
Warren Thomson, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Manulife
John Tory, Chair, Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance
Mark Tullis, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Intact Financial
Carol Wilding, President and CEO, Toronto Board of Trade
Eva Wong Scanlan, Co-Chair, Toronto Homecoming and CivicAction Emerging Leaders Network
Quotes from Regional Transportation Champions Council Members:
"Effective and integrated regional transportation is a key priority for
CAA South Central Ontario's (CAASCO) 1.8 million members. A regional
solution is required to address the issues in the Greater Toronto and
Hamilton Area, and CAASCO looks forward towards a funded, integrated
regional transportation plan," says Faye Lyons, Executive Director, CAA South Central Ontario.
"We all know there is a problem here with transportation and gridlock,
though we would like it better if there weren't. An affordable
transportation system - we'd all like that," said Michael Cooper, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman, Dundee REIT.
"Traffic is bad and unpredictable and I understand there are no free or
easy solutions. But I believe it's a worthwhile and necessary
investment for us to make now for our families and our communities.
Somehow, while the world has become a smaller place, our region has
become bigger and harder to navigate," says Eva Wong Scanlan, Co-Chair of Toronto Homecoming and member of CivicAction's Emerging
"Ontario's trades people have built the region that we have now. They
are ready and eager to build the next generation of transportation
infrastructure that our growing city-region needs," says Patrick Dillon, Business Manager, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council
The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance convenes civic leaders from
across all sectors and the region to catalyze change on the tough
issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region.
For more information, visit www.civicaction.ca or @CivicActionGTA.
For further information:
For information on CivicAction's regional transportation initiative, please visit
www.civicaction.ca/regional-transportation or contact:
For week of July 16, 2012, please contact:
T: (416)309-4480 x580