Let’s get started on electrified, double-tracked, light rail transit from Courtenay to Victoria, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

Let’s get started on electrified, double-tracked, light rail transit from Courtenay to Victoria, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time is right for investment in light rail

To lose this opportunity would be a tragedy for future generations of Islanders, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Snaw-Naw-As loses railway land appeal, but can try again, Sept. 22.

The clock is ticking on the appeal court decision to give authorities 18 months to show why the E&N corridor within the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation should not be returned to that community for its own use. The land was taken for a railway which assumes a working railway not an abandoned one.

Perhaps the silence on all fronts is evidence that the province and the Island Corridor Foundation are working on a plan. Perhaps not.

Here is my plan: With grants from senior governments, let’s get started on electrified, double-tracked, light rail transit from Courtenay to Victoria. Anything else is not worth doing. It will meet the court requirement and will benefit First Nations en route which could have stations on their lands. The Island is approaching 900,000 residents, 800,000 living in districts on or near the corridor. The Lower Mainland has been granted billions from senior governments for SkyTrain routes. It is our turn. Powered by Site C renewable energy, utilizing Canadian-made rolling stock, this project is a win-win. It meets green targets for getting cars off the highway. It will help jump-start the post-COVID economy. The metro regions from Qualicum to Ladysmith and Goldstream to Victoria could have more frequent service as an internal rapid transit system. The right-of-way already exists. To lose this opportunity now would be a tragedy for future generations of Islanders, stuck in gridlock on the Island Highway. There is no good reason not to start this now.

Brian Blood, Lantzville

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: It’s Island’s turn for investment in light rail


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