Board Meeting Notes January 2018
ICF Chair – Dr. Judith Sayers Made Member of Order of Canada
Kekinusugs, Dr. Judith Sayers founding member and current chair of the ICF has been made a Member of the Order of Canada. The appointment was made in recognition for her work in advancing clean energy projects and for her role as a champion of sustainable development in Indigenous communities.
Dr. Sayers was Chief of the Hupacasath First Nation at Port Alberni for 14 years and chief negotiator for 15 years. In September of 2017 she was elected the new President of the Nu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.
As a founding member of the ICF she was instrumental in bringing 14 First Nations and five regional districts together to protect the E&N rail line from being broken up and sold in separate parcels.
She continues to bring her strong leadership abilities and commitment to ensuring the corridor is managed for all the people of Vancouver Island.
Southern Rail Positive about Rail Service on Vancouver Island.
Derek Ollmann, President of Southern Rail of Vancouver Island said his company is firmly committed to providing rail service for the Island despite several years of operational losses. Our company believes in long term planning and we are confident in our four pillar approach of inter-city passenger rail (VIA Rail); freight; tourist excursion (Nanaimo Cruise Ship Trains); and commuter (Victoria to Langford). In the past two years SVI has spent over $1million in materials alone on the section of track from Wellcox Yard to north Nanaimo and has budgeted nearly $700,000 in additional material spending for 2018. SVI continues to provide ongoing weekly general inspection and maintenance over the entire Victoria Subdivision from Victoria to Courtenay. This maintenance includes replacement of track ties, rails; culvert and drainage inspection & replacement; vegetation management; signal inspection and maintenance at all grade crossings. There are currently 13 employees working for SVI with Herb Taylor of the Snuneymuxw First Nation recently joining the team.
Crossing Signals Upgraded-Victoria to Langford
Work on the Victoria to Langford section of track continues to see signal & crossing upgrades. Nine crossings have new signals installed in the past five years with three more to be completed in 2018. The four mile bridge was replaced and the major intersection at Admirals Road in Esquimalt has also been reconstructed.
Premier Says No More Studies
ICF Directors were surprised and pleased to read that Premier John Horgan says it is time to stop wasting time on further studies. ICF directors and representatives of Southern Rail met in November 2017 with Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation to remind her of the many studies already undertaken including the $500K study her ministry had completed in 2009. Premier Horgan said “I know the ministry has a room full of studies on the E&N corridor”, he would like to see a decision “well before the next two years”. ICF has reached out to the Premier’s office that the ICF and Southern Rail are eager to assist the Premier in developing a plan and are ready to meet with him at his convenience. Capital plans for a trial commuter service have been developed by Southern Rail.
Municipal Liaison Meeting – March 16th 2018
A municipal liaison meeting for council representatives and regional district directors whose area the corridor runs through will be held March 16th, 10am to 12 noon, at the ICF Boardroom in Nanaimo.
There will also be an ICF workshop at the annual conference of the AVICC in early April.
The ICF Annual General Meeting is 10am April 26th 2018 at the Nanaimo Conference Centre and is open to the general public.