Insert Your New Ideas Here

June Op-ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

In less than 6 weeks the online passenger train petition has 1,150 signatures, and counting. (https://www.change.org/p/premier-gov-bc-ca-bring-back-the-north-vancouver-to-prince-george-passenger-train) The Facebook page—Bring Back the BC Passenger Train—has hundreds of Likes and shares so far. People are keen to have the service.

But as I connect with people and do research, one negative keeps cooling the excitement: even though population, highway traffic, and tourism have significantly increased since the train was cancelled in 2002, would ridership be enough to make a new service profitable?

To that negative train of thought (sorry, the puns abound) I would say this: it’s time to think beyond old-school revenue models. Why force ridership to be the sole profit generator? Let’s re-imagine the passenger train concept and find ways to maximize the infrastructure in terms of the incoming green economy.

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CN, it’s time to think outside your boxcars

August Op-Ed for Bridge River Lillooet News

It was with much disappointment to read in this newspaper that after a lengthy process resulting in CN’s verbal approval for the tourist train, CN has now pulled out their support. (July 22nd, CN derails plans for tourist train) Paul Deegan, CN vice-president of public and governmental affairs, wrote to Mayor Lampman that “Due to current traffic volumes and safety concerns, a tourist train is not suitable in that area”.

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Redressing Grave Mistakes

April 2015 Op-ed Vocal Local column for the Bridge River Lillooet News

When Chinese labourers were brought to the west coast in the 1880s by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to work on construction, they were paid one third the wages of other workers and sent into the most dangerous situations. Thousands lost their lives. Then for ensuing decades, they were treated terribly; federal and provincial governments subjected them to decades of legislated discrimination. Racism is a chronic, shameful truth in our collective history.

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