RDN says it’s “tired of waiting” for Island Corridor Foundation to get rail service going.
In a unanimous vote the board of the Regional District of Nanaimo has given 60 days notice to the Island Corridor Foundation that it will be pull its funding of $945,000.00
Board chair Bill Veenhof said the Board is tired of waiting.
“The board is tired of waiting for something that doesn’t seem like it’s going to come in the foreseeable future” he told CHEK News.
The Island Corridor Foundation has been trying re-establish rail service on the 234kilometre line from Victoria to Nanaimo for years and has had financial support from governments up and down the line.
Even the Federal government said it would match a $7.5 million grant offered by the Province, providing the required $15 Million for basic repairs and upgrades to reopen the rail line.
That was scheduled to happen in 2013 but was delayed because of failed negotiations between the Island Corridor Foundation and Via Rail.
Since then there have been more delays to the point of frustration for local governments.
“We’re concerned about the day to day operations of the Island Corridor Foundation. You know in 2012 when we decided to fund our portion of the rail we were told we were getting train service once a day down to Victoria and that hasn’t come to pass in the sense that even the plans now to my best understanding are weekends” added Veenhof.
Veenhof said the decision should not be seen as a damning review of Island Corridor president Graham Bruce.
“Absolutely not in my mind, I really see this as a point of departure, a way forward to have collegial, wholesome discussions about the future of rail on the island, the future of the ICF and the future of the corridor” said Veenhof.
He says he remains a proponent of the rail corridor being used in some way for rail service and that this decision should not be seen as final nail in the coffin for any plans in the future.
The Island Corridor Foundation itself had no comment on the RDN’s decision.