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Fix train system, says Green leader

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Elizabeth May. (FILE PHOTO)

Elizabeth May. (FILE PHOTO)

Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May will kick off a cross-Canada train trip Friday in Vancouver in an attempt to draw attention to what the party calls a crisis facing Canada’s rail system.

The trip is also how May will be travelling to the party’s national convention in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

May alleged Via Rail, Canada’s national railway service, has seen drastic cuts to funding that have in turn affected its ridership.

“There’s a series of policy changes that I believe are designed to drive down ridership,” May said. “There needs to be money to make that happen.”

She said the current model of the cross-country train is more like a land-based cruise than it is a mode for moving the public, pointing to a lack of daily service in the West.

The Green Party said trains could take hundreds of thousands of cars off the road in Canada if they were run in a way more efficient for travellers.

During the cross-Canada trip, May will be making stops for rallies at numerous stations.

But May, the Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands, said a main concern of hers is the train in her own riding that once ran along the southern tip of Vancouver Island — which made its last run in 2011.


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