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Harper not keen on high-speed rail link

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is frowning on a proposal for a high-speed rail link between Ontario and Quebec that would boost the economy and help the environment, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is frowning on a proposal for a high-speed rail link between Ontario and Quebec that would boost the economy and help the environment, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday.

Without federal support, the proposed link between Windsor, Ont., and Quebec City may never get off the ground, McGuinty said.

“I continue to be a big fan of (the plan), as does (Quebec Premier) Jean Charest,” McGuinty said.

“The prime minister is not as much of a fan on this score.”

McGuinty didn’t say what objections Harper may have to the proposal, which has floated around for more than a decade.

There are plenty of reasons why it should go ahead, McGuinty said.

“I like it because it fights climate change, it fights traffic congestion — so it enhances our productivity levels — it creates jobs, and it enhances our quality of life,” he said.

Experts have advised the province to do a better job of connecting big communities to build a strong economy, he added.

“It does all those things, which is why I think it’s a worthwhile project.”

The federal government has said in the past that Canada wasn’t yet ready for high-speed trains.

While they may not see eye-to-eye on the project, the three governments are jointly spending $3 million for another feasibility study.

 
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