Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A series of seemingly random events that led to something very, very good

It was a sunny fall evening, on a westbound GO Train on approach to Malton station when I got the call that was the culmination of a day which was memorable for reasons far too many to list. Days before, I received a seemingly urgent email from Ed Drass, respected journalist. I knew that he was a reader of this blog, but none-the-less, the message surprised me. Days later, after following up on the message, I received the call. A gentleman greeted me, and quickly identified himself as Rob MacIsaac, chair of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (now known as Metrolinx). After a short conversation, he asked me if I would be interested in serving on the regional transportation plan advisory committee. Without hesitation and trying to remain calm and composed, I gladly accepted his offer, arranged an appointment to meet him, and upon hanging up, formed a smile that didn't leave my face for at least three days.

So here I am, Andrae Griffith, serving alongside respected intellectuals, business and community leaders to carve out the future of transportation in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area. This is precisely what I sought to do when I began writing this blog many years ago - advocate for change. Now, I have been given the power to affect that change and I am truly grateful. 

I would like to thank everyone who made this opportunity possible - from my family and friends who have always supported me, to professionals in industry who take time out of their busy schedules (hopefully not against their supervisor's wishes) to read my thoughts. A very special thanks goes to Ed Drass and the other architects of this opportunity. I am forever in your debt.

Over the next year, Metrolinx will be embarking on a public consultation process which will be second to none. Every citizen, from the Bay Street CEO to the general store clerk in Port Perry, will get a say on the future of transit and transportation in the region, with the end result being a long term plan that everyone can call their own. Stay tuned to the Metrolinx website and to this blog for information on how to participate in the discussion process.

There is no doubt that this will be an exciting year for myself and for the region I call home.

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At 12/06/2007 12:14 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! I hope you could make a difference for the GTTA!! But I wonder why they didn't put Steve Munro there...wouldn't he cause too much work for transit management? ;)

At 12/16/2007 8:14 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your being accepted to the board.

Were you invited or did you apply?

I have checked all the names pretty well and there is none from the Durham area.

I am glad to see a regular user like yourself on this committee.

Karem Allen

At 12/16/2007 8:32 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

My name was put forward by someone who seems to want to remain anonymous - and that's fine by me. It doesn't change how endlessly thankful I am for this opportunity.

I'm not sure if any of the other members are based in Durham, but it's possible that some may live in Durham and work elsewhere. Either way, I'll make sure that the plan works well for everyone from Oshawa to Hamilton and gets them to their destinations quickly - no matter where they start from and where they are going.


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