VIA Rail Canada Welcomes Two New ‎‎Members to its Board of Directors

MONTREAL, June 19, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Paul G. Smith, Chairman of the Board of VIA Rail Canada (, is pleased to welcome Ms. Deborah Robinson and Ms. Melissa Sonberg as members of the Board of Directors of VIA Rail. The Honorable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, recently announced that the Government of Canada appointed these new Board members for a term of three years.

"We are delighted with the Government of Canada's appointment of two new Board members, who will contribute significantly to the Board of Directors and the entire organization. Their expertise and experience in passenger transportation, finance and human resources are most relevant and useful for VIA Rail. With their appointment, the Corporation's board is close to gender parity with five women and six men. This makes VIA Rail one of the leaders in diversity on boards, in Canada." stated Mr. Smith. 

Deborah Robinson has over 25 years of diverse Human Resources (HR) experience and a proven track record of delivering practical results in dynamic, changing environments including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and start-ups. Ms. Robinson has leveraged her HR experience extensively by serving on both Not-for-profit and Corporate Boards. She is a graduate of the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds the institute's ICD.D designation.

Melissa Sonberg offers 30 years of leadership success, 22 of which were in the Transportation industry as a Human Resources leader and Corporate Affairs Executive. In addition to her executive experience, Ms. Sonberg has held a broad range of organizational functions in various departments including Legal Services, Government Relations, Brand and Corporate Social Responsibility.

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's ( and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical travel, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500 km network. Recipient of the Railway Association of Canada's Safety Award in 2012 for the 11th time in 12 years, and of Baxter Travel Media's 2013 Agent's Choice Award (voted on by Canadian travel agents), VIA Rail safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested more than a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Follow the progress of our transformation at

Follow us on our blog at - On Twitter @VIA_Rail and @VIARailPrez - On Facebook.

SOURCE: VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information:

Mylène Bélanger
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
514 871-6137 | 1 877 393-8787


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