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e-4576 (Transportation)

Initiated by Warren Skaalrud from Victoria, BC, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Allocating funds makes planning more efficient and allows for superior mitigations to the most problematic areas of the corridor;
  • The Island Corridor Foundation is a non-profit partnership governed by 14 First Nations and 5 Island Regional Districts;
  • The Island Corridor passes through every major city and town and connects the Port of Nanaimo to the Deep-Sea Port in Port Alberni;
  • First Nations and the ACRD in Port Alberni are both demanding a second route to ensure supplies, products, and people can move when Highway 4 is blocked;
  • The Population of Vancouver Island is expected to grow to 1 million by the year 2030; and
  • Expanding the congested highway arteries on Vancouver Island would cost well in excess of $1 billion and would have high opposition risks from First Nations and citizens of Vancouver Island as such proposals have in the past.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Work with dedicated resources and with a nation-to-nation approach to reconcile and resolve long-standing First Nations’ concerns with certain sections of the Island Corridor;
2. Create a $1 Billion fund using the various B.C. and Federal Government funding mechanisms for public Transit and guarantee funding to the Island Corridor foundation if approved for implementation;
3. Recognize the Island Corridor Foundation as a non-profit partnership that is very much in the public interest; and
4. Apply that funding to create a modern Freight and Passenger service on Vancouver Island to retain and develop the strategic asset that was recognized by the B.C. and Federal Ministers of Transportation and Infrastructure on 14 Mar 2023.

Response by the Minister of Transport

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez

The Government of Canada is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, guided by the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Government understands the importance of advancing sustainable transportation solutions that benefit communities, foster economic growth, and fortify overall resilience in the face of evolving challenges.  Launched in August 2021, the Rural Transit Solutions Fund is the first federal fund targeting the development of locally driven, innovative transit solutions in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities across Canada. The program is helping to close the funding gap for rural, remote, and Indigenous communities, so that residents have more options to get around more easily meet their daily needs, including supporting connections with other modes of passenger transportation.

Canada has also invested over $33 billion through its Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. A program delivered through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories. The program has a dedicated Public Transit stream which supports the construction, expansion, and improvement of public transit infrastructure that improve capacity, safety and access to public transit systems.

Canada has committed to establishing a permanent, predictable federal fund to support public transit and active transportation solutions beginning in 2026-27. More details will be made available later this year.

As a registered Canadian Charity, the Island Corridor Foundation continues to engage with Canada in advancing its core mandate – preserving and using the rail corridor. The Province of British Columbia also provided $18 million in Spring 2022 to support community and Indigenous engagement on the future of the Corridor. This work is ongoing. Canada continues to engage with the province regularly and at different levels on transportation priorities.


Open for signature
September 13, 2023, at 1:25 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
January 11, 2024, at 1:25 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford)
February 7, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02101)
Government response tabled
March 22, 2024
Photo - Alistair MacGregor
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia