Regional District of Nanaimo withdraws funding for Island rail group on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island

March 24, 2016

By Louise Dickson / Times Colonist

The Regional District of Nanaimo has terminated its agreement to give close to $1 million to the Island Corridor Foundation in support of passenger rail on Vancouver Island.Website Insert Cars and Financing copy

On Tuesday, the 16-member board voted unanimously to step out of its agreement to give $945,000 to the foundation, said board chairman Bill Veenhof.

“What the board wants the public to know is that after five years of waiting for the project to move forward, the board has grown tired of the delays and has lost confidence that the day-to-day operations of the Island Corridor Foundation reflect the interests of the RDN,” Veenhof said.

The ICF issued a statement Wednesday saying it will not comment until its board has met to discuss the matter.

Passenger rail service on Vancouver Island was suspended in 2011 amid concerns about track safety. In 2012, the foundation, which was established to preserve the 319-kilometre corridor, approached the regional districts for funding to help rail improvements.

The regional district agreed to contribute $945,000 for the return of passenger rail service, Veenhof said. In 2014, the district entered a contribution agreement with the ICF to disperse the funds.

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