Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by STrRedWolf
https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... reference/
OTTAWA, Ontario — A member of Canada’s Parliament from British Columbia has introduced a bill to create a right of preference for passenger trains on the nation’s railroads — the lack of which has long hampered VIA Rail Canada operations.

Taylor Bachrach, a House of Commons member of the New Democratic Party from the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley — a district representing roughly the northwest quarter of the province — introduced the bill last week. Bill C-371 would amend the Canada Transportation Act to require preference for passenger trains — and sets a maximum penalty of C$250,000 for each violation.

“Right now, people are avoiding the train because they can’t get to where they need to go with any sense of consistency,” Bachrach told the CBC. The broadcaster reported the MP was making his 4,500-kilometer (2,800-mile) trip home to Smithers, B.C., for the holidays by train, rather than flying, in part to “experience the state of passenger rail in Canada” and in part to build support for his bill.
  by R36 Combine Coach
Much like the Amtrak delays on Class I lines. But the class I carriers always call the shots, when they are the

I recall reading back when MARC was CSX operated, the Maryland MTA website mentioned delays were often
beyond control, due to CSX dispatchers giving priority. Most commuter lines in North America (GO Transit/Metrolinx, NJT, MNCR, MBTA and others own their own lines).
  by Tadman
I am less than well-educated on Canadian politics and law. But this raises a few questions:

1. Can it pass through parliament?
2. Is it legal? In other words, can you just fine CN? Or do they have to negotiate a new contract?
3. Would CN bite?
4. Is CN paid enough in tracakge rights? or would they just decline to re-up the contract?
5. What kind of legislation took passenger trains off CN/CP's hands? Did it require priority? Was there a trade such as relaxed regulation of tarrifs and services like the states has?
6. When CN was privatised was any of that incorporated in the legislation formally privatising the company?

I am very much in the dark on this complex issue in a foreign country. Penalties might be an answer, but they're probably better attempted in the private contracts between CN and Via than in legislation, unless CN has already declined. In that case, if there is no takings clause violations (is there something like the takings clause in Canada?) you might be able to do this. If it passes.