Pallister Government Shows Lack of Vision for the Future, no Plan to Grow Economy In Killing Winnipeg Railway Relocation Review

In killing a much-needed review of the economic advantages of moving Winnipeg’s railway lines, the Pallister government is showing a lack of any vision for the future of Manitoba’s capital city, said NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine.

“This is a government that has no plan to grow the economy or create jobs and now it has passed on an opportunity to help transform the city,” said Fontaine. “There are so many possible advantages in planning for the future of our city, and yet this government is content to live in the past.”

A study could consider the advantages of rail line relocation, which include:

  • Opening up huge areas for new development, both residential and commercial;
  • Creating thousands of good jobs and growing the economy;
  • Attracting more people from other provinces and around the world, which would add to the vibrancy of the city;
  • Allowing the city to avoid building hugely expensive bridges and underpasses that must be maintained and eventually replaced;
  • Allowing for more efficient drives for motorists and commercial traffic without long delays by trains;
  • Moving potentially hazardous and dangerous materials to a safe distance from homes and businesses in the city;
  • Unifying neighbourhoods, which have historically been divided by the rail lines.

Fontaine urged the government to reverse this regressive decision and get on with the study as quickly as possible. Any final decision on moving rail lines should be made only after a full impartial review, she added.

“The government must stop making partisan decisions that pass up important opportunities,” Fontaine said. “Manitobans deserve a government that thinks big and looks to the future. Imagine how many jobs would be created by moving the lines and opening the city to an economic boom that could carry on for years.”