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Scotia Rail Development Society Supports Novaporte Campaign

20 September 2020

Scotia Rail Development Society Supports Novaporte Campaign, ‘Cape Breton is Ready for Rail’

The Annual General Meeting of the Scotia Rail Development Society, held 20 September, was a worthwhile event with many salient discussion points arising. Most of the past year has been spent working behind the scenes, meeting with and lobbying elected or appointed representatives, and those vying for some of these positions.

 In attendance was our Mayor, Cecil Clarke. Always supportive and accessible to our group, Mayor Clarke provides needed information that helps inform our direction. For that we thank him. Mayor Clarke stated, “Building on the federal government’s environmental commitments and green programs, now is the time to get trailers off the road and back on rail. Over 100,000 trailers arrive by rail in Moncton and are placed on trucks to our region. Using rails makes more sense. It’s just common sense that it is good for the environment, highway safety, business and our local economy. It’s time to take advantage of federal commitments.”

Marine Atlantic has enough traffic to sustain the railway and being a federal crown corporation and therefore stewards of the environment, compliance with the new green-economy policy would be in order. Marine Atlantic transferring in North Sydney again would make all the difference for Nova Scotia as well as Newfoundland and Labrador.

Another challenge is eastern Nova Scotia; it is not just an end of line problem for Sydney. Considering the pulp and paper issue, the whole line, Pictou County, Port Hawkesbury, and Richmond are adversely impacted without rail.

Subject to rail availability, Sydney Harbour Investment Partnership has the necessary shipping lines and port operators in place. The only piece missing is the restored rail. A vast amount of time and money has been invested in our community by this partnership and others. The Premier has said publicly that if there is traffic for the line, the province would cost share for the upgrade. This is on the record. As proud Nova Scotians we must keep our word.

To help push our case, it will take people being politically engaged. We ask the Scotia Rail membership and anyone else who is concerned for our region to support the new Novaporte initiative, “Cape Breton is Ready for Rail” at: You will be updated on Novaporte’s efforts, achievements and the prospects for our province. There you can contact your representative. See Scotia Rail’s letter to government Reps at this site:

Fr. Maroun, also in attendance, stated, “If equalization transfers were fairly allocated, the municipality would eventually be self-sustaining. Reasonable taxes would attract investment. If we had businesses come here, there would be even more need for rail.”

A special thank you to ninety-nine-year-old Charlie Palmer for his long-standing interest and support of Cape Breton rail.

Board of Directors Scotia Rail Development Society

Posted in News

Our Mission Is Fivefold:

  1. Explore various options for continuation of the rail service to Sydney, Cape Breton
  2. Demonstrate the vital importance regionally in order to support the continuation of the rail link to Sydney, Cape Breton
  3. Support efforts to ensure continuation of the rail link to Sydney, Cape Breton
  4. Secure in perpetuity the right of way of the line
  5. Demonstrate that rail transport is the most affordable and environmentally friendly land transport for climate change

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