McNeil government should release the CB rail studies

August 4, 2015

NDP Transportation critic Sterling Belliveau is calling on Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan to respect his own extended deadline and release the three studies commissioned by the Ministers’ Rail Advisory Committee (MRAC) on the future of the Cape Breton Rail Line.

“The Minister told the Chronicle Herald that the studies were delayed and would be ready in July instead of March. Well, it’s August. We know the studies are done. Let’s not keep them a secret,” said Belliveau.

Last week the Department confirmed in a meeting in Port Hawkesbury that the studies have been completed. The three studies looked at 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.

“Cape Bretoners should know if financial assistance will be provided, if there will be a rail line there for a revitalized Sydney to take advantage of, and if the government will allow this vital transportation link to disappear,” Belliveau added.

The Minister’s Rail Advisory Committee was also to advise the McNeil government on the development of regulations to manage abandonment applications and decision-making about the future of the Cape Breton rail line. These regulations are also past due.