Canada’s new Prime Minister supports funding predictability for passenger trains and transit and a national transportation strategy

October 20, 2015

Justin Trudeau, son of late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, became Canada’s new Prime Minister on Monday, October 16, 2015 by his Liberal Party of Canada winning a clear majority in national elections for a new Canadian Parliament.Website Insert Our Name Tells Our Story copy

The Liberal Party is expected to make changes in the way VIA Rail Canada receives Canadian federal support, as well as the possibility of expanding VIA Rail services.

Here is the Liberal Party of Canada official policy platform regarding VIA Rail Canada and public transit:

1. Priority Resolution: National Transportation Strategy

WHEREAS traffic delays in Canada result in a loss of over $5 billion per year;

WHEREAS municipalities, provinces and territories do not have sufficient funds to build modern transit systems while continuing to provide other essential services;

WHEREAS many cities and towns across Canada, large and small, are facing funding shortfalls to fund their major public transit projects.  Some examples include $6.2 billion for Toronto’s downtown relief line, $1 billion for York Region transit, $200 million per year for ten years in Calgary, $515 million for Edmonton’s southeast LRT and Montreal’s $3.1 billion extension to the West Island;

WHEREAS VIA rail funding has been declining and is currently at the discretion of cabinet, thus being neither predictable nor subject to public scrutiny or input;

WHEREAS Canada is the only G7 country without a national transit strategy;

WHEREAS the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has called on the national government to implement a national transportation strategy;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada consult with provinces, territories and municipalities and propose an integrated, intermodal national transportation strategy, that serves large and small communities, within two years of taking office;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Liberal Government develop a predictable and reliable transportation funding commitment for at least 10 years, with the allocation of funds to be determined by the population and predicted growth of the population.


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