Transport Action Canada has submitted the following recommendations for sustainable public transportation priorities in Canada’s 2023 federal budget to the Ministry of Finance.
Recommendation 1: Provide VIA Rail Canada with $1.5bn capital funding to completely renew Canada’s long-distance train fleet, including providing barrier-free accessible cabins on all overnight trains.
Recommendation 2: Provide funding for track repairs to restore the Vancouver Island Railway to operable condition for regional passenger service and freight service to local industry.
Recommendation 3: Extend zero-rating for GST to all train and motorcoach fares so that rural and northern residents have the same tax treatment for public transport as residents in urban centres.
Recommendation 4: Create a Strategic Rail Infrastructure Fund under the Investing in Canada program and in conjunction with the Canada Infrastructure Bank with an allocation of $5 billion annually.
Recommendation 5: Provide VIA Rail Canada with stable operating funding of $400 million annually for five years.
Recommendation 6: Reinstate remote passenger rail service funding in the Algoma region of $2.2 million annually to implement the Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban initiative led by the Missanabie Cree First Nation.
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