During our town hall meetings in November we talked a lot about upcoming meetings with the Province in regards to the future of rail on the island. A meeting was held on December 10, 2018 in Victoria which brought together First Nations, island mayors, representatives from Regional Districts, the Island Corridor Foundation, and Provincial officials including the Minister of Transportation, Claire Trevena, and Premier John Horgan.
This was a round table discussion wherein participants were asked for their thoughts on the future of rail on the island and how to move forward. Overwhelmingly participants agreed that the rail must be part of any comprehensive transportation plan going forward, it must include the entire island, and that the unique requirements of each region needed to be addressed within the plan. Participants asked the Province to commit to the development and implementation of such a plan and to do so without delay.
We have talked with Minister Trevena since the meeting and she advises that she, and the Premier, clearly heard the views of the participants. The Province is committed to moving forward and as a first step will work with the Island Corridor Foundation to do an assessment of track and bridge conditions on the entire corridor. It was agreed this process needs to start immediately so we will be meeting early in January to develop a plan to complete the assessment.
Although this is only the first step, in what promises to be a multi-step process, we view this as a significant step forward. We are very pleased the Province is moving forward and look forward to working with them to bring rail back to the island!
Chief Executive Officer
Island Corridor Foundation