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Letter: Reclaim E&N rail corridor for commuter/freight transport

Cutting off the rail option for the masses is utterly ridiculous

Reclaim E&N rail corridor for commuter/freight transport

If the “true blue” environmentalists (the disciples of the Net Zero emissions agenda on our horizon) are truly committed to this plan, they should be wholeheartedly advocating for the rebuilding of a commuter/freight line on the existing E&N infrastructure, NOT trying to hijack it for ever more cycling and hiking trails.

For those unaware of this plan, it looks like this: 40-45 per cent less emissions by 2030 (translates to 40-45 per cent of all diesel/gas powered vehicles removed from the roads), and Net Zero emissions by 2050 (translates to no gas/diesel vehicles on the road by 2050).

We could easily attain this vehicular 40-45 per cent goal immediately, if there was a viable rail option available, and YES of course people would use it…especially if they can no longer access fuel and their cars are being banned and they can’t afford to buy a new outrageously expensive electric car (which also happen to be creating their own environmental catastrophe and supporting an industry rife with human rights atrocities). And we certainly don’t have the infrastructure to support the numbers of EV’s necessary to replace fueled vehicles

Not only is the emissions reduction aspect of a rail line an absolute no-brainer, but it would also solve the commuting and weekend bottlenecking and hours of stop-and-go traffic on the highway, and would answer to the safety concerns constantly being raised regarding only having one access in and out of the Victoria area.

I’m an avid cyclist, I use my bike for pleasure and small supplies runs. There is currently a huge network of trails and backroads, more than ample to get me from point A to point B and everywhere in between, when they are adequately maintained. Unfortunately, atm, there are several areas in need of repairs and maintenance, but Parks and CVRD don’t appear to have the capacity to do so. We need to focus on managing our current systems before we do more “empire building” of more trail systems which will only serve to accrue ever increasing tax hikes to throw our money at an already beleaguered maintenance program.

The idea of a cycling or hiking “jaunt” down to Victoria, for most of us is absurd and impossible. Not many folks I know would possibly have the energy let alone time to tackle this daunting journey, especially on a regular commuting schedule. It’s completely unrealistic. I would, however, be happy to take the train, as would most regular commuters, as fuel prices skyrocket and the looming imminent threat of their vehicles being banned and/or being exorbitantly carbon taxed.

Cutting off the rail option for the masses to serve/please a few hardcore cyclists and hikers (and some local area directors’ attempts at creating their own personal little “legacy” trails) is utterly ridiculous, extremely self-centered, very short sighted, and completely counterintuitive to their own “Green Agenda”.

Kate Macdonald

Cowichan Valley