Kudos to the majority of Regional District area directors, City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach for challenging the numbers from the Island Corridor Foundation’s railway projected costs and thumbs down to the City of Nanaimo for using it’s “weighted vote” advantage in railroading the taxpayer into paying for it.
While everyone may want a railroad, the question remains as to whether the ICF can produce a reliable business plan extended over the next decade and, when may it project that rail operations become a viable money making operation where taxpayers are no longer looked to as a bail-out resource.
Based on history, VIA Rail couldn’t operate the rail service without going into debt every month.
Perhaps there is no solid business plan because what would it be based on? Failure?
Quoting from a letter written by Joshua Craig, Financial Analyst with Local Government Support, Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and as contained within his report to the Comox Valley Regional District in a public document on the CVRD’s website, Craig cautions the Regional Districts.
“One of the key considerations for the RDs should be their strategic timeline and relationship with ICF. The current $3.2 million requirement represents the local portion of capital needs over the next decade. There will be ongoing capital requirements beyond that point.