Public Values

"Modernization" at Via Rail just another word for "budget cuts"

Service reductions despite upgrades may signal privatization to come.

July 18, 2012: Harold Nicholson wrote an article for New Brunswick newspapers which he also posted to some Yahoo groups. Nicholson claims Via Rail is hiding behind industry spin to conceal that federal budget cuts are the true reason for passenger rail service reduction. In particular, he questions why millions have been spent on upgrades if the services are only to be cut within a few short years, contemplating that the company is positioning itself for eventual privatization.

"The attempts by management at Via Rail Canada to spin the drastic service cuts in rail passenger service announced on June 27 as 'modernization' to 'better meet customer demand' are simply not true. Despite claims by CEO Marc Laliberté that the changes being made to Canada's premier long-distance trains, the Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver) and the Ocean (Montreal-Halifax), are merely 'service adjustments' to current demand, the action is in fact directly related to the federal government's reduction of 6.5 million dollars in Via's operating budget for the current fiscal year. The truth about the Ocean service in particular is that there was an increase of 7,000 riders in 2011..."

For the complete article, please click here.

Posted: August 01, 2012

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