Government neglect the cause service cancellations.
by Samantha Bayard, Straight Goods News staff
OTTAWA, ON, February 7, 2012: Train services in the Gaspésie region of Quebec and on Vancouver Island have been shut down as a direct result of the Conservative government's neglect. The lack of investment in rural rail infrastructure has shut down rail services that had been running for over a hundred years.
"This Conservative government's lack of investment has led to a drastic reduction of rail services in BC, Ontario and Quebec," said NDP Transport Critic Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina). "Rail services are very important to local economies."
NDP MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) says cancelling rail services on Vancouver Island was due to a neglected rail bed. "The federal government allowed the previous private operators not to make the necessary repairs in time. In fact, when Canadian Pacific Rail turned over the rail bed to a non-profit Island Corridor foundation, they received a $263 million tax credit for that donation of what had previously been public land, that they had been given on the condition that they would run a service."
"What we're asking for now is that the federal government steps up to the plate," says Garrison.
NDP MP Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North) describes his belief in rail as an essential element to Canadian identity.
"Rail is what created Canada. But rail is also what will recreate Canada. It is the transportation of the future. It is ecological. It's energy efficient. It should be cost-efficient — if the charges by CH and CP and other rail bed owners were reasonable."
"It's time that this Conservative government brings back VIA Rail coast-to-coast two lines, in a service that is restored, not reduced."