Contact: Jessica Bell, 647 772 8770, firstname.lastname@example.org
High res versions of the winning posters and photos from the event: http://bit.ly/1EM7APr
Video available upon request. Contact Jessica to be put in touch with students and teachers.
Read the article on our event in Metro News.
The winners of a kids colouring competition for clean and affordable Union Express trains were announced this morning at 9.45am during the week of the official launch of the Union Pearson train.
The awards were attended by a class of kids from Perth Ave. Public School which is located only one football field away from the dirty diesel train tracks.
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Up to 400 diesel trains a day will run from Union Station to Pearson Airport as part of the new Union Pearson Express service, scheduled to launch on June 6. The trains pass through one of the most heavily populated regions in Canada, close to 76 schools, 96 day care centres, and four long-term care facilities. Studies link diesel trains with adverse health effects including premature death, asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Ironically, the dirty diesel train service is being officially launched on Canada Environment Week.
Enlarged versions of the winning posters will be unveiled at the press conference to an audience of students who participated in the colouring competition. Speakers at the press conference were:
- Arden Charnock, one of the winning students from Perth Ave Public School
- Arwyn Carpenter, a teacher at Perth Ave Public School
- flight attendant, Tracy Rowan. Tracy is also the co-chair of the CUPE division that represents flight attendants
- Jessica Bell from the public transit advocacy group, TTCriders.
“Kids have a right to breathe clean air, and this colouring competition gives our kids the chance to creatively stand up for clean, affordable trains,” said Arwyn Carpenter, a teacher at Perth Ave Public School. “I asked my students to participate in this colouring competition because I know our school and our parents and teachers believe in healthy affordable public transit.”
Over 12 schools and 140 students participated in the colouring competition to call for the new 23 km Union Pearson train to be electrified, priced at TTC fare rates, and have more stops.
“I commute from downtown Toronto to the airport for work and I will not use this train because I cannot afford it,” says flight attendant, Tracey Rowan. “The Union Pearson train needs to be affordable and useful for all Torontonians, including Pearson Airport’s 20,000 airport workers,” she says.
Diesel fumes include many toxic chemicals including arsenic, benzene, cadmium, dioxins, lead, and mercury. Numerous studies link diesel trains with adverse health effects, including premature death, asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The coalition is calling on Queen’s Park to lower the fares, build more stops, and run clean electric trains that do not contribute to local air pollution and health problems.
It will cost up to $27.50 to ride the train, 900% higher than the cost of riding the TTC. The train will only have two stops between the terminals, despite the line traveling through one of the most densely populated areas in Canada. For comparison, the 26 km Bloor-Danforth TTC line has 31 stops in total.
More information on the competiton is at www.ourunionpearson.ca and http://www.ttcriders.ca/cleantraincolouringentrants/
THE FIVE WINNERS
Knob Hill Elementary
25 Seminole Ave,Scarborough
Teacher, Yin Liu
The child who drew the winning entry is Adrianna.
Perth Ave Public School
14 Ruskin Ave, Toronto
Teacher, Arwyn Carpenter
The winning poster was completed by Arden Charnock, grade 3
Garden Ave Public School
22 Garden Ave Toronto
Teacher is Brian McClure
This school had two winners: one poster was completed by Eli Davids, and the other poster was completed by Sophia Dykes, Olive Gilbert and Lara Mattmueller.
Howard Park Public School
30 Marmaduke Street, Toronto
Teacher is Dina El Shimy
The winning poster was completed by Freya Safieh, Rael Bain and Emily Ye. They are 10 years old.