The NDP will protect passenger train services


February 20, 2015



OTTAWA – New Democrats are taking action to ensure more reliable passenger train service with legislation aimed at preventing federal cuts that threaten those services to rural communities.

MP Philip Toone‎ (Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine) has tabled a bill to ensure that VIA Rail maintains minimum service levels and makes cancelling services subject to parliamentary approval. The bill will be debated at second reading in the House of Commons this afternoon.

“Passenger services to remote regions are in free fall. Without any legislative protection, Via Rail’s services have continued to be targeted by disastrous cuts. My bill aims to provide a framework for VIA Rail’s mandate so that Canadians get the services they pay for with their taxes,” said Toone.

Last year, on the strength of support from thousands of Canadians, the NDP was able to maintain rail services between Miramichi and Bathurst, after CN and VIA Rail threatened to shut the line down. Faced with this popular pressure, the government had no choice but to restore the funds required for these services.

"When sustained and reliable, passenger train services are a major driver of the economy in Canada’s rural areas. We have the means to offer better railway services across the country and I hope we are able to get all parties on board in the House today.” 

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For more information, please contact:

Véronique Breton, Press Secretary, 613-408-1483 or