fbpx
Connect with us

News

Double trouble causes disastrous losses for VIA Rail

The railway lost $415.8 million last year.

mm

Published

on

First Nations rail blockades and COVID-19 led to a record operating loss for Via Rail, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The railway lost $415.8 million last year.

“We faced two crises, the blockades and the pandemic,” wrote VIA’s $401,000-a year CEO Cynthia Garneau in the Crown railway’s annual report.

“My empathy extends to our passengers who did not have access to the usual frequencies on our train segments.”

Month-long blockades dated from February 7, 2020 in support of Wet’suwet’en First Nation protests over a gas pipeline.

VIA told Parliament the blockade forced the cancellation of 691 trains, disrupted travel for 123,000 passengers, blocked service from Montréal to Prince Rupert and resulted in 1,000 layoffs.

Annual revenues on VIA’s Canadian transcontinental service fell 93% after the service from Vancouver to Toronto was disrupted from February 12 to December 11 last year.

Deficits due to the Wet’suwet’en blockades were not detailed, but contributed to a $33.6 million loss in the first quarter of last year, wrote management.

Passenger revenues nationwide fell from $388 million to $76 million last year. Operating losses year over year ballooned from $280.7 million to $415.8 million. The passenger rail network ran at 45% capacity and saw so little traffic VIA saved $79.9 million on fuel for diesel locomotives.

“2020 was a very turbulent year,” wrote Françoise Bertrand, chair of the board. “It began with a series of rail blockades that stopped us in our tracks by immobilizing all our routes. No sooner had we emerged from this situation than we were hit with the pandemic. What an upheaval!”

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs of Burns Lake, B.C. opposed licensing of a 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. Members of the First Nation also filed a Federal Court lawsuit claiming greenhouse gas emissions breached their Charter rights.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Barbara

    May 26, 2021 at 11:32 am

    CHRIS SKY IN EDMONTON TODAY

    EDMONTON FREEDOM RALLY TODAY AT THE LEDGE!!!

    3pm LIVE MUSIC
    4PM OFFICIAL START TIME

  2. Left Coast

    May 26, 2021 at 10:08 am

    When these clown block highways & biways they need to pay a price . . .

    How about we let the railway attach their Govt Handout, starting with the usually Overpaid Chief. Just read a story the other day of one BC chief getting almost 1 million salary per year. This is just insane and of course we are throwing 10s of Billions at this insanity every year.

    Whenever I see a protest like this, I ask them if they Had to Take A Day off Work . . . it really makes them krazy . . . lol

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

News

Kenney says leadership review now would be ‘grossly irresponsible’

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

mm

Published

on

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney last night rejected any calls for an immediate leadership review of him as “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney has been under withering attacks for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Alberta, which led to the “resignation” Tuesday of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

A UCP caucus meeting is set for Wednesday and Kenney’s leadership is expected to be the main point of discussion.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney. The party currently has one scheduled in late 2022, only six months before the next provincial election.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday called for Kenney to go immediately.

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

“My responsibility is to look at the reality — not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil within the UCP was what led to the resignation of Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

Kenney said he knew when he brought in the fourth wave of COVID-19 lockdowns last week and flip-flopped on his promise not to bring in vaccine passports there would be internal grumblings.

He said the COVID-19 cabinet committee has had 12 hours of “respectful” meeting time with the full UCP caucus.

Kenney pointed out the People’s Party of Canada, which ran on an anti-vaccination platform, took 8% of the vote in Alberta in the federal election.

“Let me be blunt, those people likely voted for me in the last provincial election,” Kenney said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

News

Kenney said shuffle was ‘time for a fresh start’

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

mm

Published

on

Tyler Shandro wasn’t fired as health minister, he resigned, says Premier Jason Kenney.

Answering questions after Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle, Kenney said he accepted the resignation from Shandro from the health portfolio.

“Tyler’s dedication to the job has never been questioned. He brought his heart to the job,” Kenney said.

“It’s time for a fresh start.”

Kenney denied the shuffle was done to appease critics in the UCP caucus clamouring for action.

“We are focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID-19, not politics,” said Kenney.

Kenney promoted Labour Minister Jason Copping to health and put Shandro in his old portfolio in labour.

Kenney said bringing in vaccine passports has had a dramatic effect on the number of people getting vaccinated.

A total of 23,000 people were vaccinated on Monday with 78,000 jabs being given out in the last few days.

A total of 81.4% of people have received at least one vaccine with 72.8% having two jabs.

Since they were made available on Sunday, more than two million Albertans printed out their vaccination passports, Kenney said.

He said Alberta Health Services has expanded the number of ICU beds in the province to 337.

Copping said he was honoured to be named health minister in this “pivotal time.”

He said he has three goals: to increase hospital capacities permanently, educate the unvaccinated on why they should get jabs and to prepare the hospital system for any future waves of COVID.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans had died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

She said the province had identified 1,500 new cases in the last day from 13,600 tests for an 11.1% positivity rate.

There are 996 people in hospital as of September 21 with COVID, and 222 in ICU.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

News

Jean thinking about Fort Mac by-election run

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mic with a graphic of the riding.

mm

Published

on

Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean is musing whether or not to run in a by-election in Fort McMurray.

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mike with a graphic of the riding behind him.

“There is a byelection coming soon in my old riding in Fort McMurray. Should I run?” he asks Facebook followers.

“Let me know in the comments. Sign up on my webpage for updates.”

The riding was left vacate recently when UCP MLA Laila Goodridge resigned to run for the federal Conservatives. She easily won the riding capturing 67% of the vote.

Jean was the leader of the original Wildrose and was leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2017.

He ran for the leadership of the UCP, but lost the race to Jason Kenney.

Jean has been increasingly slamming Kenney from the sidelines over his handling of numerous issues.

He called on Kenney to resign after his infamous Sky Palace dinner.

Jean, called on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to resign in the wake of the Sky Palace Scandal.

“FOR THE GOOD OF THE UCP, FOR THE GOOD OF ALBERTA, IT IS TIME FOR JASON KENNEY TO RESIGN,” Jean wrote in capital letters on his Facebook page.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Share

Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

355 signatures

No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**



The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

Share this with your friends:

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.