VIA Rail's Black History Month Express a big hit with Toronto-area kids

TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Every year as part of Black History Month, the Toronto Children's Breakfast Clubs organize a day trip to Parliament Hill for a group of children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Toronto. For many, it's their first time on board a train; perhaps their first time away from home; and likely their first chance to set foot on Parliament Hill and speak to some of our federally elected representatives. For everyone involved, it's an inspiring experience.

Just ask VIA's Vladimir Jean-Pierre, manager, On-Train Services, who coordinates the travel details and accompanies the group to Ottawa. "I believe it's my fourth year," explains Vlad. "And this year was a great success once again." To say the kids are excited is an understatement - regardless of the early departure time!

Once in Ottawa, they visit the Parliament buildings to meet members of Parliament and other dignitaries, and to learn firsthand about how Canada is governed - all part of the Clubs' larger mission to expose these children to activities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

VIA is a proud sponsor of this annual tradition. Hats off to everyone who helped make this year's trip happen!

Black History Month in Canada
Toronto Children's Breakfast Club (English only)

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's ( mandate is to provide efficient, more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective passenger transportation, in the country's two official languages. Every week, VIA operates 503 intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. Winner of the 2011 RAC Safety Award, VIA transports over four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government has invested nearly one billion dollars in VIA in order to improve and revitalize Canada's rail passenger service for the future. Learn more at Follow VIA on Twitter at Visit VIA on Facebook at

Image with caption: "Some very excited members of the Toronto Children's Breakfast Club on board a VIA train headed for Ottawa on January 31, 2012, getting ready to mark Black History Month on Parliament Hill. (CNW Group/VIA RAIL CANADA INC.)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "This years' group met with several members of Parliament including Bob Rae (centre back). Customer Experience Manager Vladimir Jean-Pierre (far right, kneeling) accompanied the kids again this year and ensured they had a stellar VIA experience. (CNW Group/VIA RAIL CANADA INC.)". Image available at:


For further information:

Media contacts:

Malcolm Andrews 
514 871-6604

Ashley Doyle 
514 871-7613


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