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VIA RAIL CANADA ACT Introduced Again In Parliament

Another VIA RAIL CANADA ACT is proposed in Parliament

Irene Mathyssen , NDP MP for London—Fanshawe, ON on October 16th, 2017 has moved for leave to introduce Bill C-370, An Act to continue VIA Rail Canada Inc. under the name VIA Rail Canada, to amend the Canada Transportation Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

NDP MP for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Philip Toone had previously tried to have a VIA Rail Canada Act Bill C-640 passed unsuccessfully in 2015.  This was after other unsuccessful attempts By MP Olivia Chow Bill C-577 and Philip Toone C-614.

We appreciate the effort the NDP has put into this sensible idea to help solve the continuing downward slide at VIA Rail.

The attempts to get a VIA Rail Act passed are not new. Former Liberal Federal Minister of Transport David Collenette also tried to have Bill C-26 passed in 2003.

All eyes are on the Trudeau government to see if VIA Rail we will be revived or if other options to provide passenger rail service in Canada will be pursued.


  1. Version française :

    Irene Mathyssen, députée NPD du comté de London-Fanshawe en Ontario a présenté le projet de loi C-370, un projet de loi pour que VIA Rail Canada continue d’opérer sous le nom de VIA Rail Canada et pour amender la loi des transports du Canada et d’autres lois Canadiennes portant sur le même sujet.
    Le député Philip Toone, de la circonscription des Ile-de-la-Madeleine avait lui aussi tenté, sans succès, de déposer un projet de loi C-640 en 2015. Ce projet suivait le dépôt par Olivia Chow du projet C-577 et un autre projet de Philip Toone portant le numéro C-614.
    Nous apprécions les efforts portés par le NPD afin d’empêcher la détérioration continue de VIA Rail Canada.
    Les tentatives d’introduire un projet de loi sur Via Rail ne sont pas nouvelles. L’ancien ministre des transports David Collenette avait aussi essayé de présenter le projet C-26 en 2003.
    Tous les regards se portent maintenant sur le gouvernement Trudeau pour voir s’il va améliorer le sort de Via Rail ou si d’autres options visant à offrir un service de transport de passagers par le rail seront poursuivies.

    Train à grande vitesse au Canada par Paul Langan, le 18 octobre 2017.

  2. VIA needs to change its name. The issue is not high speed rail. From Victoria B.C to Halifax, Nova Scotia the name VIA was about high prices, not on time and associated problems similar to C.P.and C.N. of yesteryear. It needs legislation from freight predators who put the public last. Make high speed rail a separate corridor company much like the West Coast Express where VIA maintains the cars. Bring commuter rail to Vancouver Island first as part of the Express. VIA makes money as a shop repair center given the legislation separate from their trains which would operate under a different name. Then there is the Churchill problem for example. I support high speed rail in the corridor and commuter rail on Vancouver Island.

  3. The proposed act is empty, it's missing many of the elements that were in the previous NDP bill and it really isn't necessary. There are enough teeth in the Canada Transportation Act to protect VIA vis-a-vis CN, but the government won't make use of them. This all comes down to government policy, investment and managerial appointments, none of which can be legislated. Any government that wants to make this happen can do it through a cabinet decision that establishes rail passenger improvement as priority. Like those that have gone before it, the Trudeau government simply isn't interested.


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