Mayor added to transportation task force

·2 min read

Chatham-Kent's transportation needs will be heard at a provincial level.

After initially being excluded from a provincial taskforce, Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff has been invited to be part of the working group. The municipality’s top elected official’s name has been added to the Southwest Task Force designed to examine and improve the region’s transportation needs.

The taskforce is focusing on improving connections between various modes of transport including rail, bus and local transit services.

Chaired by London Mayor Ed Holder, with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens as vice chair, the first meeting of the task force was held in January. And while many community members from around the region chosen to attend, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton hadn't been invited.

Canniff says he reached out to Holder after the initial meeting in January. “I requested we have representation,” Canniff says. “Mayor Holder was very understanding of my request. “It’s very important we are at the table to help formulate the solution as opposed to hearing about it later,” he adds.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley was also added on after the initial meeting.

Even though millions of dollars worth of goods flow through Chatham-Kent on Highway 401 every day, the region’s transportation needs have been pushed to the back burner. Canniff says improved links with other communities and within the municipality are needed.

“This is something that’s been neglected and ignored for quite a while,” he says.

Transportation is critical, he adds, because if you don’t have a car in Chatham-Kent, it’s difficult to work and to access services.When the task force was formed, the press release said it will ensure transportation solutions are “informed by local needs and considerations.”

The group is expected to meet for the second time in early April.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald