We need more ICF transparency

Will this ICF boondoggle never end? The majority would love to have passenger rail on Vancouver Island, including me, but at what cost?

In the Jan. 8 edition of The NEWS, editor John Hardings’ editorial and Andy Mundys’ letter to the editor regarding the ICF suing Julian Fell hit the “rail nail” right on the head.

Will this ICF boondoggle never end? The majority would love to have passenger rail service on Vancouver Island, including me, but at what cost?

Check it out for yourself. Google “E & N Railway Corridor: Development Strategies for the Island Corridor Foundation.” Click to page 17 of 50, section 3.2, “Costs of Railway Restoration and Potential Service Expansion”, second paragraph.

It reads, “In basic terms, the approximate cost to repair the Victoria-Courtenay corridor is $79 million and the cost of the Port Alberni line is $26 million. These figures do not include potential restorative work to aging bridges, which could add up to $84 million to the costs. Via stations and trains could cost up to $32 million.”

That is already $221 million for infrastructure only, but keep reading. The undated cover page indicates the report was financed by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Do you think Via Rail may have read this public report and checked out the safety issues before pulling the Via Rail passenger service?

Unfortunately, Julian Fell went directly for the jugular on a totally different issue. How do we, as taxpayers, get the transparency from the ICF board that our elected officials, including Director Fell, have been screaming about for years? By banishing them from the ICF Board?

Reg NosworthyMeadowood

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