Time to get high-speed rail off the table

With much distaste, the high-speed rail from Edmonton to Calgary comes screaming back to Alberta. Never have so few, pushed so hard for a ‘publicly’ funded transportation system, so publicly and non-transparent for so long. Public opinion and sensible economic minds can see right through this rapid ‘White Elephant Right of Way’ business portal for what it is.

It is easier to describe what it is not.

It is not a convenient method of traveling from Calgary to Edmonton, or Red Deer to Edmonton ‘reasonably’. It is fast, and expensive for a long, long time. We already have such systems in place. For the same price of a fare, you can take a taxi to Calgary to the door of your destination. You can take a bus for less. Once upon a time, you could take the train, and ride the scenic route. Today, speed, ‘convenience’, and ‘business friendly’ is valued above all.

This high-speed railway is nothing more than a political high five to the last wave of politicians leaving the Klein/Lougheed era.

This is also a ‘test’ of the land acquisition legislation coming into play for the highly debated power line debacle.

Do we really need this?

In truth, does it matter if we need this? The politicians of this province need this to fine tune their legislation, and people management skills.

Mr. Flewwelling is right. This whole idea needs much, much, more discussion, debate, fine-tuning and public support. Meeting with the mayors is not necessarily the answer. Ms. Redford should meet with the average Albertan, who will not use the system due to high costs and inconvenient proposed terminals and vehicle rentals in Edmonton or Calgary.

Is this merely federal? Provincial? Municipal?

This province and major cities, Calgary/Edmonton have a way of sticking their butts out towards federal departments and constitutional power assignments. Remember the Edmonton City Centre airport potential closure? Edmonton has issued a decree towards the federal government-this rail line is just another.

In short, this high-speed rail is nothing more than a political tool designed for a variety of functions, the least of which is economical, convenient, accessible transportation.

Back off Redford. Kill this plan now. Use existing systems. The province of Alberta cannot afford this pipe dream.

Tim Lasiuta

Red Deer

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