Why has McNeil government not released CB rail studies?

July 3, 2015

(Sydney, NS) NDP Transportation critic Sterling Belliveau is calling on the McNeil government to release three studies commissioned by the Ministers’ Rail Advisory Committee (MRAC) on the future of the Cape Breton Rail Line.

The three studies, on upcoming economic opportunities in Cape Breton in relation to the rail line, investment required to upgrade the Sydney Subdivision, and an assessment of the cost of trucking versus rail, were scheduled to be completed in March.

“Since the Rail Advisory Committee’s interim report in January, we have heard very little from the McNeil government about this vital transportation link for Cape Breton,” says Belliveau. “Cape Bretoners shouldn’t be left in the dark about whether or not the financial assistance will be provided. The government needs to be open and transparent about the future of Cape Breton.”

A briefing note obtained by the NDP Caucus (see attached) indicates the MRAC also advised the McNeil government on the development of regulations to manage abandonment applications and decision-making about the future of the Cape Breton rail line. According to its Terms of Reference the MRAC was supposed to release its final report in the “Spring of 2015.” As of today, the final report has yet to be released.