NDP wants meeting with Via Rail CEO over cuts
The federal New Democrats are asking for a meeting with Via Rail's president to talk about what they're calling drastic cuts to train service.
The party's deputy transport critic, Hoang Mai, the MP for Brossard-La Prairie, delivered a letter this past week to the Via Rail headquarters in Montreal to call for the meeting — a letter co-signed by the part's transport critic Olivia Chow, and Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine MP Philip Toone.
The NDP is concerned about 290-million dollars' worth of planned cuts to Via Rail's budget, and worried that some outlying regions of the country will soon be forced to do without train service it considers vital to the economic and social well-being of communities.
A spokesperson for Via Rail has said the corporation plans to resume service to the Gaspe peninsula once the condition of the tracks is satisfactory. The rails are currently maintained by the Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie.
"This is for security reasons," said Mylène Bélanger, of Via Rail Canada. "We don't compromise on security matters, and safety is of utmost importance and the tracks are not our tracks."
Updated: September 2nd, 2013, Michel Boyer