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Markham's mayor doesn't want freight trains re-routed through York Region

Last Updated Feb 14, 2018 at 7:49 am EDT

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti takes part in a news conference on Sept. 4, 2013.

The mayor of Markham is speaking out against plans to re-route freight trains through York Region.

Frank Scarpitti said doubling the amount of freight trains, potentially carrying hazardous material through the community, is “unacceptable” and would put the over 400,000 people living within two kilometres of the track at risk.

If the plan is approved, freight trains travelling from the west end of the GTA would run through north-western Toronto, Vaughan and Markham before heading south into Scarborough, and east into Durham Region.

Scarpitti claims York Region was not consulted about the plan, which was commissioned by other municipalities.

“The process happened without an ounce of consultation from York Region,” he said.

“We talk about the need for cooperation in the GTA, but how do you not consult the municipalities impacted? The safety of Markham residents is the priority.”

A report by City of Markham staff recommends advising Metrolinx of the city’s objections to the proposal, as well as requesting consultation with York Region, Markham, Vaughan and Richmond Hill as part of their environmental assessment study.