To the editor,
Well, it looks like the ICF is at it again. In spite of the fact the economy is in a downfall, heading for a full-blown recession, they continue to seek out elected local councils to support this idea.
Councils would do well to concentrate on the areas and issues of the day that are facing all of us on this Island, No. 1 being health. Our primary health care has deteriorated significantly for everyone with seniors being hit the hardest. Here in B.C. our health-care system is teetering. No one can deny we are in a rental crisis here in B.C. with rent increases of 20 per cent, while our housing market conditions today are untenable to say the least. Housing and rent are out of touch with the average wage earner.
Do we really need this? Do we really want to request our governments to spend taxpayers’ dollars on something that only a few will benefit from let alone understand the ultimate costs? The infrastructure of this antiquated rail line has deteriorated to a point that $1 billion or more is the reality.
This is no time to be suggesting to the governing bodies to consider a resurrection of this rail line which the taxpayers of B.C. do not support. It is totally unacceptable.
Write to your elected MLA, MP and local council to voice your objection today.
Joe Dennie, Qualicum Beach
To the editor,
Re: Connect the dots, make rail a reality, Letters, July 20.
I read with no little interest two recent letters, both of which touted the development of rail transport by the most recent Island Corridor Foundation proposal to reinstate rail transport of both freight and people on the existing E&N railbed. Both letters were phrased to support the return of rail traffic per the most current ICF proposal but ignored, as such proposals always do, reality:
The existing track would require regrading and replacement of most track and trestles.
Certainly weather creates problems from time to time on the Malahat, but those very same extreme weather conditions would wreak havoc on rail with washouts of some of the trestles.
There are other issues, such as impacts on Indigenous matters and the trucking industry that are too numerous to address in a short letter. But how about passenger traffic? The most recent ICF proposal has trains arriving in Victoria at 9 a.m. (actually not in Victoria but in Vic West thus requiring further travel into Victoria) with the last up Island departure from Vic West at 5:20 p.m. This is obviously not a means of travel for those seeking effective and timely transport to and from work in Victoria and Island Highway automobile traffic would not thereby be significantly reduced, if reduced at all.
Finally, let us not ignore the cost. The ICF proposal was last cited by ICF at some $431 million which would likely mean a realistic cost in excess of $1 billion. Go figure.
Pat Mulcahy, Saltair
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