VANCOUVER and OTTAWA, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - Transport 2000 Canada today awarded
the Lemon Prize to Hon. Stockwell Day, MP former Minister of Public Safety and
to Ms. Suzanne Hurtubise, Deputy Minister responsible for the Canadian Border
Services Agency. The Lemon Prize is for the CBSA's delay of the new
"The province invested several million dollars on an extra passing track
to increase capacity on the line. The State of Washington, which funds the
international railway passenger service, was ready to go last August. But when
the CBSA decided it would need $1,500 per train the initiative ground to a
halt," said David Jeanes, president of Transport 2000 Canada.
John Bakker, president of Transport 2000 BC said: "This $1,500 charge is
nonsense as the secure customs and immigration facility has been at the
Vancouver station for years and is used by a train each way each day. This
stubborn obstruction is already harming tourism in the Lower Mainland and will
be a distinct handicap for the Olympics".
The CBSA views the expanded service as a 'new facility'. Transport 2000
filed an Access to Information request on the issue in July but has yet to
receive a response.
Transport 2000 is also concerned the CBSA would like to stop all trains
at border stations and make everyone get out with their baggage to undergo
customs and immigration checks in a special holding facility. This model has a
precedent when US authorities used a similar routine at the Sarnia-Port Huron
border station. People soon stopped using the train. As a result the
Toronto-Chicago train service was terminated.
The Lemon Prize is awarded, from time to time, when Transport 2000
considers that the "winners" have gone out of their way to make life miserable
for travellers or transit users and has acted counter to the development of
sustainable transport options.
On Saturday Jeanes presented the annual Orange Prize to Dean Del Mastro,
MP and the House of Commons Rail Caucus for promoting passenger rail services.
Caucus Chair Del Mastro has advocated successfully for major funding to
upgrade the Peterborough-Toronto Canadian Pacific Railway line for freight and
passengers. He has also succeeded in obtaining funding to improve the rail
freight connection to a major cereal shipper in Peterborough.
Transport 2000 Canada is a national volunteer-based advocacy group
promoting better public transport. Transport 2000 was founded in 1976. It has
an Ottawa office and regional associations in British Columbia, the Prairies,
Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
For further information:
For further information: David Jeanes, President, Transport 2000 Canada,
(o) (613) 594-3290, (h) (613) 725-9484; John Bakker, President, Transport 2000
BC, (604) 536-8273, http://www.transport2000.ca