By Mike Williscraft
Much like Mark Twain, reports of the Grimsby GO station’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff says reports the planning of the Grimsby GO station have not been “stopped”, rather, it has been altered to make it more economically viable.
A letter released last week by Phil Verster, president of Metrolinx – the body which oversees GO transit – noted that his organization has been informed the government wants to seek pubic-private partnerships to build GO stations. They say this move not only will save taxpayers money, but it will ensure local buy in.
“The reality is we are in dire financial straits and any way that we can utilize private partnerships in removing some of the burden on taxpayers while still providing services which are needed is good news for taxpayers and good news for Niagara,” said Oosterhoff.
“They want private- public partnerships on all builds across Niagara to ensure this is a cost that is shared,” said Oosterhoff noting the government wants to see buy-in from the communities. We don’t want the cost solely on the backs of taxpayers.”
GO expansion to Grimsby was initially projected to launch in 2021.
Oosterhoff said he was unsure of what the impact will be on the launch but noted the process has not stopped, but added that it will be different.
“(A stoppage) is not born out by the letter from Metrolinx or the conversations I have had with the Ministry of Transportation,” said Oosterhoff.
With site issues already materializing for the initially proposed site on the South Service Road at Casablanca Boulevard, it is expected Metrolinx will target a location on the south side of the rail tracks for the station.