VIA Rail to Honour Canadian Forces And National Defence Employees With Free Travel This Summer



    HALIFAX and QUEBEC CITY, March 26 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada is proud
to honour Canada's current and former Canadian Forces personnel, National
Defence employees, and their families, with a special appreciation fare during
the month of July.
    During this time, members of the Canadian Forces and National Defence
employees will benefit from free unlimited travel in Comfort class anywhere on
VIA's network. With more than half a million current or retired service
personnel eligible, the special fare is the first of its kind.
    "Like all Canadians we at VIA are proud of the Canadian Forces and
pleased when we can help to remind our fellow citizens of their contribution,"
said VIA Rail's Chairman of the Board Donald A. Wright. "In the past, VIA has
put the spotlight on our troops and their families through commemorative
Remembrance Day trains for the Year of the Veteran and the Year of the War
Bride. We hope that this special offer will allow members of the Canadian
Forces and their families to experience the country in a way that only the
train can offer," added Mr. Wright.
    "As Minister responsible for VIA Rail, I am pleased VIA will honour
Canadian Forces members and their families with these special fares, and I
hope they and their fellow Canadians will take advantage of all VIA has to
offer this summer," said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities. "July is also the 400th anniversary of the
founding of Quebec City and I hope Canadians take advantage of this offer to
join the festivities."
    "The support shown by VIA Rail to Canada's men and women in uniform, as
well as civilian defence employees, is appreciated by the entire defence
community," said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of
the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "This initiative will allow members
of the Canadian Forces to visit more of the country that they have committed
to defend."
    "VIA Rail's offer is one more way we can repay the great debt that all
Canadians owe to the brave men and women who have always been willing to
defend our nation," said Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs. "This
July, our truest heroes will find it easier than ever to see more of the
remarkable country they've helped build."
    In addition to being able to travel for free with the special fare,
members of the Canadian Forces can also bring up to five family members
travelling with them at 50 per cent off the regular applicable fare. The offer
applies to all current and retired members of the Canadian Forces, Reserve
personnel, Department of National Defence employees, and Public Fund
employees.
    For more information, or to reserve a ticket, go to viarail.ca/forces or
call toll-free 1 888 VIA-Rail (1888 842-7245) or 1 800 268-9503 (hearing
impaired).

    As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is
to provide efficient, environmentally responsible and cost effective passenger
transportation services, both in Canada's business corridor and in remote and
rural regions of the country. Serving more than 450 communities with a network
of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains, demand for rail services
continues to grow as more Canadians turn to train travel as a safe and
convenient travel choice.




For further information:

For further information: VIA contacts: Quebec City: Malcolm Andrews,
Corporate Communications, (514) 871-6604, malcolm_andrews@viarail.ca; Halifax:
Martin Roy, Corporate Communications, (514) 871-6119, martin_roy@viarail.ca;
Quebec City: Sylvie Patry, NATIONAL Public Relations, (418) 648-1233, ext.
232, Cell: (418) 454-1088; Halifax: Sarah Moses, NATIONAL Public Relations,
(902) 425-1860, ext. 258, respond@mtlpr.ca; Minister Cannon's office:
Catherine Loubier, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Minister
MacKay's Office: Jay Paxton, Press Secretary, Office of the Honorable Peter
MacKay, (613) 992-9210


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