There’s little doubt that the Island Corridor Foundation needs to be more transparent and do some better communication.
After all, if you have virtually every local government official on Vancouver Island telling you that you’re too secretive, you probably are.
These local politicians are the people who are, in large part, supporting the idea of getting the railway going again.
Years after the last train rumbled down the tracks due to a ‘temporary’ shutdown caused by the poor condition of the tracks, most of them are still on board to get the engines on the line and transporting passengers and goods.
With every day, month and year that passes it seems less and less likely to the average citizen that the rail line will ever become a working railway again.
So, too, must it seem to the politicians who have set aside money to help in that very cause.
Should they put the people’s money elsewhere?
Answering that question, apparently, is not a simple matter. It’s hard even for them to get information out of the not-for-profit owner of the former E&N line.
If they’re feeling that way, it’s not hard to imagine that the general public is feeling even less informed about the increasingly derelict ribbon running through their Island communities.
Fundamentally, we still believe in rail, and we like that our local politicians do too.
We think having a working rail line could be a good thing for the future of our community and our Island.
After all, many said the commuter bus to Victoria would never work because not enough people would want to take it.
Fast forward to today when it is routinely packed with people eager to get out of their cars for the trip over the Malahat.
There are definite challenges to getting the rail line up and running. The tracks need not only repair, but upgrading if modern trains are ever to be used.
Such a thing takes money and lots of it. But so do never-ending attempts to make the Malahat highway safer.
Getting North Americans out of their individual cars is no easy task, either.
But if we lose the corridor now, we will never get it, and opportunity it represents for greener, efficient transport, back.
If the reality of rail is ever to happen the ICF must reach out to residents and invite them to share the dream — with all the facts on the table.