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Hyer calls on Conservatives to safeguard cross-Canada rail service

Friday, January 31, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

GREEN PARTY OF CANADA

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Government inaction putting passenger service in jeopardy, MP says

OTTAWA – Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer called on the government to take strong action to save Canadian passenger rail during today’s Question Period.

Hyer said: “CN Rail is abandoning the line from Bathurst to Miramichi that VIA rail needs to connect the Maritimes to the rest of Canada. CN is also ending passenger service north of Sault Ste. Marie. Mr. Speaker, passenger rail service is in jeopardy across our country! Why won’t the Minister of Transport or the Conservative members for Sault Ste. Marie or Miramichi take action to save passenger rail … from CN rail?”

“The Harper government has consistently slashed VIA funding in recent years. Now, their failure to lead on the issue of rail policy is affecting the Algoma Central Railway. CN announced last week that they would abandon the railway between Miramichi and Bathurst, and passenger rail service north of Sault. Ste Marie,” Hyer said. “The Conservatives are systematically destroying passenger rail from coast-to-coast.”

Hyer said the government must restore funding to VIA and passenger rail service across the country, and must take control of their national railways to save passenger rail.

“Thanks to government inaction, CN is able to cancel passenger rail service on a whim. Canadians’ ability to travel by rail is subject only to the bottom lines of shipping corporations like CN. The Conservatives have allowed large rail companies to hijack transportation in this country, and it has to stop. They have to put their foot down and make CN clean up its act and protect passenger rail and rail safety,” Hyer said.

“Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden, when he was in opposition, advocated nationalizing Canada’s rail beds many decades ago and generating revenue by charging large rail companies rent for their use,” Hyer noted.

“And more recently, when CN moved to abandon three line segments in Southern Ontario vital to VIA's Quebec City - Windsor corridor, they were bought by the government through VIA. While years of neglect mean that VIA's current budget could no longer afford this, the government could easily step in with the relative pittance needed. It’s time for today’s Conservatives to show some leadership and consider taking control of Canadian railways to save passenger rail across this country.”

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Comments
9
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Ski-Dude 1/31/2014 11:08:17 AM Report

“Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden, when he was in opposition, advocated nationalizing Canada’s rail beds many decades ago and generating revenue by charging large rail companies rent for their use,” Hyer noted.

Couldn't agree more! This should have been done.....needs to be done!
Wild Turkey 1/31/2014 11:52:34 AM Report

Who's OUR Green Candidate?--He/She might have a good chance ,next time around.
Hamguy 1/31/2014 12:54:23 PM Report

Nice to see at least one MP ask the hard questions for us. Wake up Mr Hayes before we loose this rail service.
baab 1/31/2014 1:00:07 PM Report

Here is a video that was recently posted on YouTube. It brings to light some of the struggle that we face as a result of this change to our rail service. Please watch, comment and share it with whomever you may. We need to get the word out about this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX0RcD5hYUk&feature=c4-overview&list=UUf24qktprVi_ycN8dkwLFOQ
learningaswego 1/31/2014 2:29:51 PM Report

Of course Canadians "would like" passenger rail service. If you asked them JUST that, most would say "sure"!

But THE question is, are Canadians willing to PAY for it? Don't be fooled by politicians trying to fool you that "the government should pay for" - because "the government"'s money is TAXPAYERS.

And I'm not talking the price of a ticket; because that is peanuts, compared to the HUGE SUBSIDY costs to ALL TAXPAYERS, if we indeed want access to this MOST EXPENSIVE, MOST INEFFICIENT form of transportion.
learningaswego 1/31/2014 2:36:59 PM Report

It's hilarious to hear a former Dipper turned Green be all a ga ga about keeping passenger rail service.
No doubt the primary thing behind this is to try to appear relevant.

Passenger rail service is probably THE most INEFFICIENT, EXPENSIVE - both in personal costs and energy output; and LEAST environmentally friendly (diesel spewing) mode of PERSONAL transportation there is -
well, next to Al Gore's personal jet.
my70monaco 1/31/2014 2:45:08 PM Report

Hats off to the creators of the well done YouTube video calling for action from all us Northerners to protest CN's hardhearted decision to eliminate passenger rail service from the Sault to Hearst. Too bad so many of us are so damned complacent! Myself included!
Resident 1/31/2014 3:54:23 PM Report

Learning: LEAST environmental? HUGE subsidies?
baab 1/31/2014 4:18:47 PM Report

I bet CN will still be running the freight train along this track and receiving income as a result. The fact is, the costs to operate the passenger train are far less with a freight on the same piece of rail. The tracks will still need the same maintenance and expense to be allowed to run the freight. The only extra cost may be the passenger itself. It would be good to know what that cost is. The north of Ontario shouldn't be paying for Toronto's road infrastructure when we have potholes on every corner, but we are. So why shouldn't other municipalities pay for our railway. Even running the train once a week or opening discussion is better than giving no notice to local business people who will possibly see MILLIONS of dollars of financial loss, unemployment and lack of money to fuel this already starved community. It's easy for others to criticize the system when they don't depend on it or are on the outside looking in.
Comments
9
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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