COMMENTARY: Island rail situation has an all-too-familiar ring

Here we go again.

Much like Wiarton Willie, Island Corridor Foundation seems to pop its head up every once in a while to remind us they’re still around.

The latest sighting involved the ICF lauching a survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail. The reason? To find out how important the rail corridor is to people on Vancouver Island and why.

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island. We continue to advocate for immediate action from our provincial government as it will not only provide a lasting and viable transportation option but will bring both immediate, and long term, economic benefits and stimulus to Vancouver Island,” the ICF said in a press release.

How many surveys are required? How are the ducks not in a row, if they were ever going to be in a row, by now? How many times must we say ‘wake us up if something actually happens’?

The ICF goes on to say that the BC Chamber of Commerce, the South Island Prosperity Project and Transportation Action Canada have all recommended the provincial government prioritize the preservation of the rail infrastructure in order to provide much needed commuter and intercity rail service.

READ MORE: Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

How often have we heard messages like that?

Yes, everyone’s behind it, just nothing ever happens.

How many governments must we wait for to be the one?

They say the survey is designed to help guide the ICF “through the process of bringing rail back to life on Vancouver Island with our provincial, municipal and First Nations partners.”

Sounds an awful lot like just kicking the can further down the road.

In May, the PQB News featured a story about the Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation calling for the repurposing of the E&N Railway Corridor, saying there is no business case for the investment necessary to reopen the rail line.

“How about the East Coast Trail? A level, accessible, paved trail that connects communities and promotes recreation? Despite several funding proposals, the Island Corridor Foundation has been unable to secure the financial investment needed to rehabilitate the track,” read a May 5 release from the nation.

Seems like a reasonable idea to us. The repurposing seems like an actual opportunity.

Yet here we are, five months later, and the ICF is putting out more surveys. Again, years and years of nothing. All kinds of proclamations and bureaucratic ramblings and PR splashes and nothing. Plans to raise money and promises of conditional government funding and nothing. Town hall meetings and promises of better communication and here we are… waiting.

We’ll keep saying it. The time for a final decision on this matter was years ago.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Commentaryrailwayvancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Adam Walker. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach voters wait to see if they must return to the polls

Byelection could be required if councillor wins seat as MLA

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Parksville man faces charges after incident at car dealership in Duncan

Police were alerted to suspected break-and-enter in progress

(Black Press file photo)
Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Bank discovers counterfeit Canadian currency

Oceanside RCMP received 249 complaints in one-week period

Jordan Jay Ward, 20, is wanted Canada-wide for manslaughter. (Calgary police photo)
UPDATE: ‘Suspicious’ man seen in Parksville woods not manslaughter suspect

Hikers say he resembled Jordan Jay Ward, wanted Canada-wide

From left: BC NDP candidate Adam Walker; BC Liberal Party candidate Michelle Stilwell. (Submitted/file)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates wait for mail-in ballot count

NDP’s Adam Walker has lead over B.C. Liberal Party’s Michelle Stilwell

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

Most Read