Province should put money into E&N upgrades -Jan. 23, 2018 4:38 p.m.LettersOpinion Cowichan Valley Citizen

Province should put money into E&N upgrades
Dear Premier Horgan:
I certainly praise your making future use of our derelict E&N railroad corridor a priority, among many needs left us by our former, corrupt Liberal government. I sure hope our corridor is returned to rail use. Many, if not most Islanders, want an efficiently run long-awaited commuter and tourist train between Nanaimo, Cowichan — and possibly points north — and our capital.
That would give us options to our cozy cars pitifully polluting and clogging the Malahat Drive, now costing taxpayers millions in upgrades to curb crossover crashes. Island Corridor Foundation brass has sadly failed to get a low-emissions passenger-rail service rolling again thanks partly to bad tracks and bridges needing millions in taxpayer fixes.
If the feds won’t help bankroll our Island’s critical rail upgrades, I urge our province to go it alone. One way to raise that money is by boosting carbon taxes at the gas pumps, then pouring those bucks into track upgrades.
To be sure, Canada’s rail system is a tragic joke by global standards. Still, I hope we can get our Island’s passenger- and freight-rail upgrades on track soon — without more costly studies — to green-grow our economy, including eco-tourism.
Peter W. Rusland

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