1.We will now proceed to a detailed analysis with the schedule that concerns the issue that brought us here, Schedule E regarding “Transit Network”:
The hub is now situated over Highway #7 (as marked by the dashed blue circle with no assigned scale, one emphasizes), where the problematic CN heritage bridge remains to this day as the Gordian Knot of this solution (Gordius being the king of Metrolinx who secures his oxcart with a difficult knot). The new location of the now bi-partite hub may be seen as coming at the encounter of the demands of Concord West, Glen Shields and Beverley Glen communities, but it is a solution only in name, since it was arrived at by “cheating” – for it addresses only the intersection of the services of Viva/YRT and GO trains, and ignores the root cause that brought us here: the tripartite hub with the planned 407 Transitway station which, by admission of the EPR, as we have already shown, was designed to serve the future community to the north of Highway #7, ie the Concord Floral development.
Had our community’s presentation of an Alternative Plan for the tripartite hub consisted solely of solving for a bipartite hub that left out the planned 407 Transitway station, we would have been, as we said already, the laughing stock of politicians and planners. For, in addressing the problems caused by the Ministry of Transportation’s plan for a 407 transitway station, we would have simply obliterated the problems and the station! Yet, while the present Draft obliterates such station, this Schedule E keeps for that transitway the trajectory proposed by the Ministry of Transportation, a trajectory which only makes sense if the transitway station – which the residents of two communities, Concord West and Glen Shields, do not want – is placed on the greenspace which those communities are fighting to preserve.
Despite the fact that the same EPR acknowledges that the best, cheapest, least disruptive trajectory for this transitway should hug Highway 407 on the south side; despite Concord West’s alternative plan to locate the transitway station on the east side of the intersection of Centre St. with Highway #7, where it would coincide with the preferred transitway trajectory; despite all the Steering Committee interventions of Concord West members who pointed this out repeatedly; despite all this, the proposed Draft of a supposed “Preferred Solution” effectively acknowledges that the City has no vision for the protection of the Concord West greenspace, no vision for an alternate location of the transitway station, and no vision regarding the best emplacement of the 407 transitway.
Now, consider what that January 30th public meeting showed – that, with the exception of the developers and the commercial stakeholders, all other members of the public wanted the hub, whether tri- or bipartite, placed to the north of Highway #7 (this was the famous Option 4 overwhelmingly chosen by the public at that meeting; an Option that you, members of this Council, have not even had a chance to see, since it was nowhere posted). Next consider that this was also the express commitment of the present Vaughan Council and its Mayor, at different times, both before and after the last municipal elections. Consider what Regional Councillor Di Biase wrote: ” I support the Alternative GO/Metrolinx Plan that received unanimous support by the members of the Concord West Ratepayers Association and the Concord West Seniors’ Club. (…) I support the proposal to relocate the GO/Metrolinx Station to the alternate location on the north side of Highway #7.” Or consider what Deputy Mayor and regional Councillor Rosati wrote: “I am supportive of your proposal to have the GO/Metrolinx Station relocated to the North side of highway 7”. Or consider what Local Councillor Sandra Racco wrote: “Additionally, I am also supportive of proposing to have the GO/Metrolinx station relocated to an alternate location on the north side of Highway #7”. Or what Regional Councillor Schulte stated: “I[‘m] committing to support you [the Concord West community] in trying to get the GO station and parking lot re-located”. Or consider what our Mayor wrote to Sierra Club Ontario, and where the collective will of all of you, Councillors, is transparent: “As per the unanimous resolution in Vaughan Council on February 15th of the present year , the City of Vaughan supports the location of the proposed GO/Metrolinx hub north of Highway 7, and not in the headwater lands of the West Don River as currently is the position of the Ontario Government”. It seems to us that these are Councillors and a Mayor who know how listen to their constituents, understand the problems and know the solution. So, then, this is the question that we – residents of Concord West, Glen Shields and Beverley Glen, citizens of a democracy – put to you, our elected representatives: how does this Committee and Council square its clear commitment with this toothless, whitewashing proposal that lacks vision and courage, and fails to do what Council committed to?
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