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Advertising Standards Canada says
Metrolinx electrification flyer was misleading



Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) has determined that Metrolinx contravened standards in a flyer it e-mailed and mailed to residents along the route of the proposed Air Rail Link (ARL) in March.

The flyer implied the Metrolinx would launch the ARL in 2015 with electric trains, but failed to note that it had ordered foreign-made diesels and that it wouldn’t be “electrifying” the line for at least seven years. According to the Clean Train Coalition, an organization of local residents opposing the plans for diesel trains, this is not the first time Metrolinx has attempted to make the public believe they have embraced a clean, modern form of rail service and are expediting its construction. The coalition believes Metrolinx is trying to delay or derail electrification and continue with its earlier plan to add more than 200 diesel trains along the densely populated rail corridor.

The ASC found Metrolinx contravened Clause 1(b) of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, which states, “Advertisements must not omit relevant information in a manner that, in the result, is deceptive.” Metrolinx issued an update on August 16 characterizing its earlier flyer as “information that gave a mistaken impression” and added:

“While our item noted that the Metrolinx Board had approved the staff recommendation to electrify the Georgetown and Lakeshore lines, with the ARL as the first phase, the item did not go on to specify timelines and that the engines used by the ARL service would not be electric when the service commences in 2015, but instead provided a link to our website with the information.”

Metrolinx is currently in the process of retaining a consultant to undertake the early design for electrifying the ARL service and to complete the environmental assessment study for electrification.