February 27, 2012
Island Rail Funding Decision Soon
Saving Vancouver Island rail service could be as simple as writing a letter to the Prime Minister stated Graham Bruce, Chief Operating Officer of the Island Corridor Foundation, owners of the former E&N railway corridor.
Bruce said the federal government decision to invest $7.5million in rail infrastructure improvements is imminent with a decision expected sometime in March.
The ICF is an organization made up of the five regional districts and 13 First Nations that the railroad runs through or is adjacent to. The ICF maintains there is a future for renewed and improved passenger and freight service and this initial upgrade is part of an ongoing incremental island rail plan.
The provincial government approved a matching $7.5million dollar investment in the spring of 2011 but the railroad rebuilding plan calls for the full $15 million to guarantee 10 years of operation.
“I am confident if Prime Minister Harper and his Minister of Transport, Denis Lebel got enough letters from us supporting the investment of our tax dollars in our railroad it would be a done deal”, stated Bruce.
Bruce and ICF co chair Mary Ashley met with North Island MP, Minister John Duncan late last week at Campbell River to discuss the decision timing.
“Minister Duncan told us he and his colleague, Nanaimo MP James Lunney had been pushing hard to get this funding approved and that a decision would be forthcoming before the end of March”, added Bruce.
The ICF is urging Islanders to write the Prime Minister and Minister of Transport over the next two weeks to ensure they both know the importance of an operating rail system to Vancouver Island.
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