Smart Freight Centre Launch remarks from Chair Professor Matthew Roorda

speaker at podium
Professor Matthew Roorda, University of Toronto, speaks at Smart Freight Centre Launch, April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019, Launch of Smart Freight Centre, Brampton, ON

Good morning everyone!

Parliamentary Secretary, Regional Chair, special guests — on behalf of the Board of the Smart Freight Centre, I would like to welcome everyone here today.

We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather, and on which the Region of Peel operates, is part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. Peel Region — the traditional territory of the Anishinabek (Ojibway), Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and home to the Métis — was most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. On this day our meeting place is still occupied by many Indigenous peoples (i.e. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) from across Turtle Island (North America). We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land, and by doing so, we give our respect to its first inhabitants.

My name is Dr. Matthew Roorda. I am the Chair of the Board of the Smart Freight Centre, a Canada Research Chair in Freight Transportation and Logistics, the Co-Chair of the Infrastructure Engineering Program at the University of Toronto, and a Professor in Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto.

The Smart Freight Centre is a centre of excellence for goods movement that has been established as a five-year collaborative network with the Region of Peel, McMaster University, University of Toronto, and York University. It will work on regionally significant goods movement issues and projects in Peel Region and the GTHA to reduce the community impacts of moving goods … and to ensure our transportation systems are working at peak efficiency and effectiveness.

The Smart Freight Centre’s goal is to bring together expertise of transportation researchers from a broad range of diverse disciplines with our partners in industry and government to solve real, on-the-ground challenges and find opportunities for 21st century mobility. These projects are about much more than research papers and academic journals — they’re about solving real, on-the-ground problems.

We hope to improve the quality of life and ongoing economic vibrancy in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area by conducting evidence-based research and obtaining decision advocacy to coordinate transportation infrastructure, land development, regulations, technology tools and resources.