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Letter: Federal government urged to fund rail

Please be assured Mr. Prime Minister, rail service is definitely in all of our best interests

Federal government urged to fund rail

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:

I’m requesting our federal government fund track and bridge repairs to Vancouver Island’s long-stalled rail service as soon as possible.

Hopefully that funding ruling can be made before Ottawa’s March 2023 deadline to determine if Island rail service is in the public’s best interests.

Please be assured Mr. Prime Minister, rail service is definitely in all of our best interests.

Details about fruitless, decades-long funding talks between the track-owning Island Corridor Foundation, our province and Ottawa appear in the April 28, 2022 Cowichan Valley Citizen newspaper.

It’s outrageous given our climate-change crisis, and our Island’s steady growth, that we have no transportation alternatives to toxic, fossil-fuelled vehicles along our busy, risky Trans-Canada Highway.

Sadly, we have basically been without passenger and freight rail service since about 2011.

Residents simply want and deserve efficient rail service starting between Nanaimo and Victoria — and eventually reaching Courtenay — with cogent scheduling allowing commuter, tourist and freight hauling.

Our much-needed line can hopefully be extended to Courtenay once a land deal is reached with the Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation north of Nanaimo.

I urge our wise federal government to finally and logically bring this protracted impasse to an end forthwith.

Yours in smart transportation options,

Peter W. Rusland,

North Cowichan

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