The future of Canada’s national passenger rail system is in doubt. Starved of resources since its inception, VIA Rail services were cut in 2012 and more devastating cuts are to come.
In response to these irresponsible and reckless decisions, Transport Action Canada and its five regional affiliates have launched their nationwide town hall meetings project, the National Dream Renewed. For further information, consult the website: http://nationaldreamrenewed.ca/.
To be conducted by Toronto transportation writer and policy advisor Greg Gormick, the National Dream Renewed will inform the public of the vast untapped economic, social and environmental potential of Canada’s national rail passenger service. Canadians will be asked for their views on how VIA can be reformed to sustainably provide a high-quality, cost-effective service similar to that provided in every other industrialized nation. The goal is to produce a blueprint for VIA’s revival and expansion based on the input of Canadians from Atlantic to Pacific to Hudson Bay.
For the third time during its 35-year life, VIA is being forced to make major cuts to what many consider to be already a minimal rail passenger system. A federal government cut of $41 million in VIA operating funds over the next three years has already forced the discontinuance of several VIA trains. More cuts are coming and Canadians will be left with less sustainable, reliable and enjoyable transportation options.