Canadian Forces and Veterans Honoured with Free VIA Rail Travel

    Offer expanded to include VIA1 Class and Sleeper

    OTTAWA, April 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Forces personnel and veterans
will be able to get free, unlimited rail travel during the month of July. The
announcement which celebrates the contribution and sacrifices of Canada's
military personnel and veterans was made at the Ottawa Train Station by the
Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport), along with his
colleagues, John Baird, Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister and the
Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean, the Honourable Josee Verner,
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council
for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie, The Honourable Peter MacKay,
Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, and the
Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs.
    Each active or retired Canadian Forces member or veteran may bring up to
five immediate family members with them, at a 50% discount off the applicable
Comfort class fare. In addition this year, VIA is offering a 50% discount to
all personnel and their family members off the regular adult fare in Business,
Sleeper and Touring classes.
    "As Minister responsible for VIA Rail, I fully support VIA's initiative
to continue to honour Canadian Forces personnel and their families with these
special fares." said Minister Merrifield. "If last year's response can be
taken as an indicator, this is an offer that will be truly appreciated and
    "I'm proud to be a part of a Government that, under the leadership of
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, both honours Canada's bravest and encourages
them and their families to enjoy recreational time touring the country that
they serve and protect," said Minister Baird. "This is a good news story for
all Canadians where we can say thank you for those who are and were involved
in the defence of our great country."
    "Canada's men and women in uniform, and their families, will continue to
be appreciative of the support they have received from VIA Rail," said
Minister MacKay. "This initiative will allow them to visit more of the country
and meet the people whom they have committed to defend."
    "VIA Rail and our government are proud to pay tribute to this history,"
said Minister Thompson. "We are proud to be offering our servicemen and women
- past and present - with the chance to see more of the great country they
helped build."
    "The success of last year's program exceeded our expectations," said VIA
Rail's President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Côté. "VIA is proud to
recognize the contribution and sacrifices made by the men and women of the
Canadian Forces. This special program offers an experience of our country that
only the train can provide."
    In 2008, some 60,000 current or retired Canadian Forces personnel took
advantage of VIA's initiative to honour them with a special fare.

For further information:

For further information: Christopher Hilton, Office of the Minister of
State (Transport), (613) 697-7324,; Chris Day, Press
Secretary, Office of Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, (613)
991-0700,; Nadia Seraiocco, Media and Corporate
Communications, VIA Rail Canada, (514) 871-6119, (514) 887-6119 (Cell),

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