Island with 140,000 People Can't Afford to Lose its Railway.
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Rail infrastructure has been essential to the economy of Nova Scotia since the late nineteenth century. Until 1993, as essential infrastructure, this 394km section of rail through northern Nova Scotia was controlled by the federal crown corporation, CNR (Canadian National Railway). In 1993, however, this piece of critical Canadian infrastructure was sold to an American holding company.
In 2012, the rail line was sold again - this time, to another American holding company, G&W (Genesee & Wyoming). G&W has applied for permission, from the government of Nova Scotia, to abandon the rail line and to sell the iron tracks for scrap. The government has been subsidizing the upkeep of this rail line at a cost of $3-million per year, but if granted permission, G&W will be able to sell the rail scrap for an estimated $25-million.
Destruction of this rail infrastructure will be detrimental to the economic viability of northern Nova Scotia, and in particular, Cape Breton Island.
The city of Sydney, the industrial center of Cape Breton Island, has a deep-water port with a planned container terminal. Construction and future operation of this container terminal represents, by many accounts, the region's greatest economic opportunity in a century.
This opportunity, and the economic future of the region and its people, depends on a functioning rail line.
Premier Stephen MacNeil, Minister Geoff MacLellan, and Members of Parlaiment Mark Eyking and Roger Cuzner can take steps to prevent G&W from destroying Nova Scotia's critical rail infrastructure.
Please let them know that this issue is important to you. Your voice could change the future for our region.
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