Time for action on the rail corridor
Dear Mr. Premier:
With all due respect, our organization would like to address the poor decision-making process regarding the reinvigorating of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island.
This asset is being left to deteriorate while the need for people moving transportation is sorely needed. Vancouver Island is growing in leaps and bounds and deserves better treatment from the Government of British Columbia. Opportunities exist on this rail corridor to move citizens up and down Vancouver Island while also providing economic opportunities to move freight and tourists as well. Oh, but you already know this!
The rail corridor has had many studies done to prove its value. It is now past due to put into action the information gathered, and provide the funds needed to give Vancouver Island a first class, alternate transportation opportunity. It is our understanding that the province is considering a condition assessment of the corridor. It would appear this is just another study disguised as an assessment that will then be fed into yet another study, not to be complete until sometime in 2020. This is far longer than it should be and looks like you are simply moving this issue down the line like every government before yours. ENOUGH! These issues have been studied to death and it is now time to act.
The value of the rail corridor should not be in question. Its use will address moving people, getting vehicles (both cars and TRUCKS) off our overworked highways, not to mention improvement to our environment. There are four sections to the rail corridor and each one should be looked at with a different emphasis. People moving on the entire corridor. Freight on the Port Sub and the Nanaimo to Duncan and Courtenay sections. Tourist services on the Nanaimo to Parksville, Nanaimo to Duncan (Chemainus) and Victoria north. The Port Alberni sub is a clear opportunity to provide opportunities for freight service and the best tourist run on the Island.
Mr. Premier you and our group have met many times before, discussed these opportunities and agreed they were valuable. May we remind you that prior to becoming premier you committed to make things happen if you were ever the government. Well, the time is now and you and the rest of your NDP cohorts are the government. Why is this matter going through the same old delaying process of study after study after study? Studies are no longer necessary. Action is what’s required.
Assess the current state of the corridor, provide the funds. Make the decisions to provide services needed and demanded by Vancouver Island and its residents. The time for action is now. Gas prices have gone through the roof, a useless carbon tax is going to make it even more expensive for citizens to provide for their families not to mention a continuous increase in taxes from all levels of governments. Don’t misunderstand this statement, good use of tax dollars is acceptable, poor use is not.
Your government and the supporting Green Party have publicly stated on many occasions concerns for the environment. Well, here is your opportunity to put verbal support into action. Provide the funds along with the federal government to take care of the rail corridor, work with the Island Corridor Foundation and let’s get it done.
W.J. (Jack) Peake