In early November the NDP leader Marit Stiles introduced a motion called on the government to provide a timeline and funding commitment for the Kitchener GO Line expansion, which was then promptly voted down by the Conservatives (66 to 30).
With the Kitchener Centre by-election this week, CKMS took the opportunity to ask the four front-runner candidates if, after all the effort that has been applied, the government still won’t budge, what can they add to this effort?
CKMS News made three attempts over 10 days to contact the Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Elliot, but did not hear back from the PCs in time for broadcast of this story. The other three candidates responded and spoke to CKMS News about GO train service in Kitchener Waterloo.
First up is Debbie Chapman of the NDP who says two-way, all-day GO service is a top priority for her and her party, and despite the Conservatives voted down the motion, the fight continues.
The Liberals have also called for all-day and all weekend train service to Toronto. Kelly Steiss, the Liberal candidate explains how people have been pushing for more GO trains and acknowledges the frustration riders feel.
Aislinn Clancy of the Ontario Greens noted how the PCs have said they are supportive of the idea of increased GO service, but then vote against it. Clancy has called on focusing on financial elements of the decision to appeal to the Conservatives. All levels of government to speed up the process to secure increased GO service.
CKMS asked the candidates who agreed to speak about their familiarity with local transit is and if they actually use it, asking them “When was the last time you went to Toronto on the GO train?” and “When was the last time you took the GRT (Grand River Transit buses) and Ion Rapid Transit Service (light rail)?”
Debbie Chapman of the NDP had not taken the GO transit to Toronto recently, but does take local public transport
Aislinn Clancy of the Greens has had recent experience on GO transit and the GRT and highlighted the problems that she has experienced and heard.
While Kelly Steiss of the Liberals has not had recent experience with GO Transit, her campaign staff have. She also has recent positive experience with the Ion.
This is one in a series of shows about the Kitchener Centre by-election and in which we ask candidates some of the less-asked questions that are important to our community.