At the recent Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) National Annual General Meeting held in St. Catherines, Ontario, CFUW Stratford received an Advocacy Award in recognition of their ongoing work to return more trains to Stratford through the gettingthere.ca campaign. Club co-operation with local, provincial and national organizations was also recognized. The campaign began in 2012, with meetings with stakeholder groups to examine the impact of the removal of key VIA trains in 2012, and has continued through community partnerships with the City of Stratford, the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, University of Waterloo Stratford Campus and the Festival Theatre, among others.
In June of 2015, VIA President Yves Desjardins-Siciliano came to Stratford with the promise of two additional trains, a morning commuter train at 6:30 AM, and an additional return train from Toronto at 4:30 PM. CFUW work in the community has continued with marketing meetings involving the stakeholders and VIA representatives to develop strategies to recreate rail culture and train use in Stratford once the new trains begin. CFUW Stratford, along with its many community partners, looks forward to VIA’s proposed commencement of the additional trains in the Fall, demonstrating its commitment to SW Ontario public rail transportation.