Affordable rail travel necessary in Canada
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Oct 10, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

Affordable rail travel necessary in Canada

St. Marys Journal Argus

Dear Editor:

Adrienne Clarkson added her voice to the debate about rail travel in a recent Globe and Mail article published Sept. 26. A prior Governor General, Ms. Clarkson remarks on the importance of rail connecting communities across Canada.

In the same issue, Steve Ladurantaye highlights the strategic importance of the Kitchener-Waterloo region to Canada; 1,000 tech companies with $200 million in invested venture capital and $500 million in tech company acquisitions in the past year. These companies, as well as many others, need VIA rail service to provide appropriate transportation for the increasing numbers of qualified team members needed.

VIA rail also provides required transportation for the many university students that will be these future team members and tomorrow’s leaders.

MPs must see the issue of efficient, safe and affordable rail travel as a necessity in moving Canadians, in connecting communities, in developing economic growth, in reducing congestion, in improving health outcomes and enhancing the environment.

The perplexing question is why the VIA issue is not universally perceived by governments to be extremely important to the future of our great country.

When the VIA issue is deemed to have enough importance, it is hoped governments will act appropriately and direct the resources needed.

Although the VIA issue is recognized by governments as a federal issue, provincial and municipal governments must play a part in VIA’s development.

Similarly, organizations controlling scheduling, such as Metrolinx, also must play their part in the development of VIA.

It is time for all Canadians to press the VIA issue with MPs, MPPs, municipal mayors, councillors, clerks. We need to get this issue on everyone’s “bucket list”!

Whether by letter, fax, Twitter, email, telephone, let’s reach out and express our thoughts regarding this essential service.

Chris West

St. Marys

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