Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.


Petition against Privatization of Via Rail

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Passenger rail is a safe, efficient, sustainable, affordable, and accessible mode of public transportation;
  • Due to federal cutbacks and underinvestment over many years, Canada’s current passenger rail services lag far behind those available in other countries;
  • Since its creation in 1978, VIA Rail has lacked both the legislative mandate and stable budget necessary to maintain and expand passenger rail service in Canada;
  • While VIA Rail's on-time performance on tracks it owns is over 90 percent, it is only 60 percent on tracks it shares with other railways;
  • Rail privatization and outsourcing schemes in other countries have led to higher fares, reduced service, deteriorating safety performance, and lower salaries for workers;
  • Unlike other public passenger rail providers around the world, VIA Rail lacks representation from passengers and workers on its board of directors; and
  • In its Corporate Plan, VIA has warned that its long-distance fleet, built in the 1950s, is overdue for replacement, without which it will soon be unable to provide services in Atlantic and Western Canada.
We, the undersigned, Residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Incorporate the contents of Bills C-371, the Rail Passenger Priority Act, and C-236/C-640 (41-2) the VIA Rail Canada Act, in a Government Bill and prioritize its passage through the legislative process;
2. Commit, in the 2024 federal budget, the funds necessary to renew VIA Rail’s long-distance fleet;
3. Provide passenger and worker representation on VIA Rail’s board of directors; and
4. Revise the High Frequency Rail project to protect VIA Rail’s role in delivering public passenger rail service along the Windsor to Quebec City corridor.

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