Ottawa to pay for repairs to vital New Brunswick rail line: Unifor

The Canadian Press
May 10, 2014 04:26 PM

FREDERICTON - Canada's largest private sector union says the federal government has agreed to pay for repairs to a vital stretch of track in New Brunswick used by Via Rail to provide service to the east coast.

Unifor issued a statement on Saturday that it has received confirmation that Ottawa will provide funding, although it does not know how much.

The union launched a campaign to save the 70-kilometre stretch of track between Miramichi and Bathurst in New Brunswick after CN announced it plans to abandon it because it no longer carries freight on the line.

Unifor president Jerry Dias says Via Rail jobs and its passenger rail service to the Maritimes were at stake and expressed hope the federal plans would protect both.

Federal NDP politicians who lobbied for the government to maintain the line have said it would cost $10 million to keep it running.

Previously the federal government had said it had no interest in acquiring the rail line and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt's office refused to comment on Unifor's statement.

CN Rail did not immediately respond to an email on the issue.

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