To Sheila Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Tuesday, February 2 2016

Hi Sheila,

As one of your constituents and an ardent supporter I am suggesting that a grand project for the federal Liberals (put forward by the NDP) to consider under the umbrella of infrastructure spending is the complete rehabilitation and improvement of the E&N Railroad, running from Victoria to Courtenay, possibly even extending service all the way to Port Hardy. The project would create much-needed employment and, sistered with the shared funding promised (and apparently dismissed by the self-serving Clark Liberals), would serve the double purpose, upon completion, of providing an alternative to the only land route (the dreaded Malahat) traversing the mid and southern island and also an option to being constantly and inescapably gouged by BC Ferries and the sad excuse that Greyhound offers in the way of bus service. A dependable, scenic, punctual train service would improve both by offering competition. Not only that but an actual operating train would complement the gorgeous train station built in Nanaimo that should be filled with travellers every day, yet sits forlorn and unused because you can’t ride empty promises.

The plans to rehab the railroad have been stalled, ignored and trashed by a provincial and Conservative government for too long. I think both Trudeau and Mulcair can appreciate what a positive work and energy producing endeavour this would be for a too-long neglected part of the country. Think of what a tourist magnet a modern (or traditional) railway tour would be and what further employment the spin-off businesses would provide. The NDP locked up Vancouver Island so let’s do more with the opportunity than criticize a government that looks like our best and brightest hope to save this great country.

Brian Hoag

Gabriola Island, BC