Monday, December 19, 2022

NDP MPs Taylor Bachrach, Niki Ashton call for Stop to Federal Government's plans for VIA Rail service in Ontario/Quebec

VIA Rail's Skeena Train at it's staging spot at the Heritage Station location
on the Prince Rupert waterfront 

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach, along with a Manitoba MP Niki Ashton are raising concerns over what they say is a plan to privatize passenger rail service in the high profile Toronto-Quebec city corridor. 

Bachrach who is the NPD Critic for Transportation co authored a statement last week taking on a number of elements of the VIA Rail joint investment project with Canada's Infrastructure Bank.

The Skeena-Bukley Valley MP noted how the government is putting profits ahead of passengers with the. plans.

"Canada is fortunate to have VIA Rail, a Crown Corporation with a proven track record that Canadians depend on to travel across the country. Instead of building on this proud legacy, the Liberals seem intent on handing over VIA's busiest corridor and the bulk of its passenger revenue to private interests--putting profits ahead of the interests of passengers. This is wrong. The Liberals are making decisions on transit based on the interests of the rich and powerful, not everyday Canadians. People deserve better." -- Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach.

click to enlarge

The NDP statement was a response to a News Release from December 15th that outlined new milestones in the proposed High Frequency Rail project.

“The incorporation of VIA HFR and its role as a dedicated Project Development Office is an important step in the realization of High Frequency Rail in Canada. I thank VIA Rail for its role in creating VIA HFR and its continued support for the project, and I am pleased that Messrs. Prichard and Fonberg and Ms. Nadeau have agreed to serve as the founding members of the Board of Directors. VIA HFR is now well-positioned to lead the biggest Canadian infrastructure project of the century.” -- Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport

The Federal Government has previously stated in the House of Commons and in past information statements that their plans for VIA Rail do not include privatization of the rail service.

Items of note on the Northwest Service between Prince Rupert and Prince George can be reviewed from our archive page.

More news on the work of MP Bachrach in the House of Commons can be explored here.

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