I would like to applaud Robert Porter for his excellent letter regarding the E&N Railway.
I hope more people are beginning to realize that the railway is a thing of the past on Vancouver Island.
I wonder how many people have actually walked the tracks and seen what terrible shape they’re in. I also wonder how many people know that the tracks and trestles are over 100 years old, and have hardly had any repairs done to them.
I’ve walked along them. They all need replacing, as they’re far past repairing.
Graham Bruce, CEO of the Island Corridor Foundation, tells us that it will only cost the taxpayers $15 million, which has been approved by the provincial and federal governments, pending a service agreement with VIA.
That would just be the beginning of a taxpayer-funded albatross far into the future.
Mr. Bruce had in-camera meetings with all five of the regional district boards from Victoria to Courtenay, and asked for another $3 million, which would also be added to our taxes. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and rest assured that the ICF will be back asking for more and more funding in the future.
As Mr. Porter said, it will cost at least $150 million to fix the railway properly.
There is a small group of self-serving politicians and ex-politicians, which Mr. Bruce is, who are trying to get the taxpayers to fund their interests.
As Mr. Porter said, the railway line should be used as a dedicated multiple-use path. They did it in the Kettle Valley, and it`s a very popular trail.