Green Party Unveils Northern Platform and VIA Rail Passenger Plan

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks with media at Press Conference in Thunder Bay
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks with media at Press Conference in Thunder Bay

Elizabeth May Says “Re-Elect Bruce Hyer” for the Best Representative

THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Green Party leader Elizabeth May is the first federal party leader to visit Thunder Bay. Today at a press conference, Bruce Hyer, current incumbent in Thunder Bay-Superior North and Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, and Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and current incumbent in Saanich-Gulf Islands, discussed the importance of a national transportation strategy and how it affects Northern Ontario residents.

Mr. Hyer and Ms. May highlighted the need for reliable rail service that reaches communities in Northwestern Ontario, including Thunder Bay.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks with media at Press Conference in Thunder Bay
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks with media at Press Conference in Thunder Bay

The Green Party and Bruce Hyer are in a tight race here in Thunder Bay. The New Democrats are doing robo-calls into the riding telling voters the race is between the Conservatives and the New Democrats. That message is one that brought laughter from Hyer. Asking the media when the last time a Conservative MP was elected in Thunder Bay, Hyer said “Richard Harvey is a very brave man, but he likely won’t win.”

The last time that a Conservative was elected in Thunder Bay was in 1931.

Fighting for Passenger Rail has been a major effort that Hyer has invested years of his time into making happen.

“I am committed to bringing VIA Rail back to Thunder Bay and maintaining service on the north line,” said Mr. Hyer. “We have not had a VIA Rail stop since 1990 and with the treacherous winter conditions here, rail is a reliable and safe option to travel to and from Thunder Bay.”

“Canada is the only country in the industrialized world that has no national transportation policy or strategy,” continued Hyer. “The government has failed to improve publicly owned passenger trains at a time when other nations are modernizing and expanding their systems.”

Green Party Media Scrum – Thunder Bay

“It is vital that any modern country have an efficient and well-run passenger rail,” continued Ms. May. “The Green Party’s plan for National Transportation Strategy will provide Canadians with an affordable, efficient, and safe method of transportation. Investing in Canadian rail will stimulate economic growth through expanding rail infrastructure, creating jobs, and boosting tourism.”

Green MPs will:

  • Pass legislation to create a national framework for VIA Rail, establishing its mandate by law;
  • Re-invest in our national rail systems, build more train cars in Canada, increase train speeds, phase in high-speed rail where feasible, and create green transportation and energy infrastructure corridors in key regions;
  • Develop a national transportation strategy – invest in local public transit and expanding VIA Rail to provide more modern, efficient, and frequent passenger rail service.
  • Invest $600 million in VIA Rail in 2016-2017, building to $764 million by 2020;
  • Rebalance the relationship between passenger trains and freight cargo with a comprehensive plan to limit the burden on our rail system that has been created by exporting unprocessed oil by rail;
  • Strengthen Canada’s rail safety rules and give regulators the tools they need to protect our neighbourhoods from train derailments, especially those involving hazardous materials; and
  • Fund the re-routing of tracks for freight and rail yards away from populated areas.