Rail Society's Efforts Should Be Supported
19 October 2019 – Cape Breton Post
I would like to applaud and strongly support the case put forward by the Scotia Rail Development Society on the need to restore the Cape Breton rail line (Cape Breton Post, Oct. 15).
If the container port is developed the line will clearly have to be redeveloped. However, the society makes an equally strong case that there are many other economic and environmental reasons to upgrade the line.
Especially deserving of our support is their statement that the “the Province of Nova Scotia should establish a policy that includes rail as a standard part of our infrastructure, similar to highways.”
As to financing, they note that “the province believes that the transfer is unconditional to them.” The key word there is “believes”. Nowhere is this mentioned in the Act. This was a later spin maintained by the federal and provincial finance departments. It allows the federal bureaucrats the excuse to wash their hands of their responsibility and it allows the provincial bureaucrats a cover to justify their theft of over $230 million per year to Cape Breton. It is a fiction and it needs to be challenged.
That money could go a long way to reducing the excessive commercial and residential tax burden we bear. It would also provide the Cape Breton Island with much-needed capital to help finance its share of major infrastructure projects such as the rail line.
Kudos to the society. We need to continue to support their effort.
Kenzie MacNeil, Sydney
(Independent MP candidate for Sydney/Victoria)
Copyright 2019 Cape Breton Post
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