Show your support

Show your support

Level One – “Show You Care”

  • Sign up for our newsletter
  • Sign our petition at the bottom of this page
  • Spread the word – tell your friends about our initiative and share our website through email and social media.

Level Two – “Doing a Little More”

  • Send an email to the Premier premier@gov.bc.ca to show your support.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper expressing your thoughts about a rail trail.
  • Print and distribute the FORT-VI poster and/or info cards

Level Three – “Going the Extra Mile”

  • Become a liaison in your local community to support and promote this initiative by joining the FORT-VI Working Group. Contact us at info@fortvi.ca

You can help by adding your support by signing our petition below. The wording for our petition (which you can read by clicking ‘READ THE PETITION’ button) is:

I support removal of the track on the E&N rail bed and converting the corridor into a non-motorized, multi-use, recreation trail.

FORT-VI Petition

[signature]

971 signatures

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Letters sent by FORT-VI and its supporters:

 

Dear Ms Stillwell,

We were pleased with the recent opportunity to discuss the efforts and aspirations of Friends of Rails to Trails, Vancouver Island, for the E&N Corridor. We were encouraged by your knowledge of the issues and the support you expressed for our objectives.

As discussed, FORT-VI sees the current legal challenges of affected First Nations as providing a fortuitous opportunity to review all options for future use of the corridor, not just the limited range of alternatives on which the ICF has based its planning, unsuccessfully, for the past 10 years.  For our part, we are pleased with the considerable public support we have received, at both individual and municipal levels, in our call for an alternative approach to the corridor – independent of rail and dedicated as a continuous, near level, all-purpose, non-motorized recreational through trail, extending from Courtenay and to Port Alberni to the Galloping Goose into Victoria.

As you know, this is an option that the ICF, as presently constituted, is not prepared to evaluate but which, as proven by example throughout the world, has demonstrated community and commercial success for residents and tourists alike. This alternative deserves full consideration.

The newly elected government of British Columbia has already demonstrated its determination that major public decisions are soundly based on fact.  In that spirit, we hope that you will assist us and your represented constituents by seeing that the current hiatus in action on the corridor is used to require a proper, fact-based evaluation of all options for its use and better, more transparent and accountable management of this public asset for the benefit of all Island residents.

Very truly yours,

Les Andersen and Wilfrid Worland

Friends of Rails to Trails, Vancouver Island

fort-vi.ca


Letter sent by FORT-VI to the Premier and 13 NDP and Green Vancouver Island MLAs:

August 23, 2017

Dear Premier Horgan,

Plans for renewal of train service on the E&N corridor appear to be on hold for a year or more while the challenge to ownership of portions passing through certain First Nations lands is before courts. This provides an ideal opportunity to review all options for future use of the corridor, not just the limited range of alternatives on which the ICF has unsuccessfully based its planning for the past 10 years.

Since April of this year, Friends of Rails to Trails, Vancouver Island, has received the support of over 2300 Island residents calling for, not a costly patchwork of “rails with trails” as advocated by the ICF, but removal of the rails entirely. We feel that, with or without trails, rail will have no viable future on the island for many decades to come and that, until such time as a better option is feasible, the rail bed should be re-purposed as a continuous, near level, all-purpose, non-motorized recreational through trail — extending from Courtenay and Pt. Alberni to the Galloping Goose, essentially into Victoria.

This is an option that the ICF, as presently constituted, is not prepared to evaluate but which, as proven by example throughout the world, has demonstrated community and commercial success for residents and tourists alike. This deserves full consideration.

The new government of British Columbia is committed to avoiding biased political decisions and has already demonstrated wisdom in taking such steps in the re-evaluation of other public undertakings. It recognizes that priorities must be sorted and decisions made on fact, facts which include all options.

In that spirit, we call upon you, as an elected Vancouver Island representative, to take the necessary steps on this important Vancouver Island issue.  We urge you to take the opportunity now available on account of the hiatus in ICF action to ensure that a proper, fact-based study of the best use of the E&N corridor is made for the benefit of all Island residents.

Sincerely,

Sherry Durnford, Ladysmith

Les Anderson, Parksville

Wilfrid Worland, Qualicum Beach

Denise Savoie, Comox

Friends of Rails to Trails, Vancouver Island

fort-vi.ca


July 26, 2017

Dear Mayor Jangula and Councilors

Thank you for the work you do in our community, we are especially appreciative of the collaborative efforts in working with the Regional District.

Today we are writing to request your support in the efforts of many Comox Valley residents to convert the unused and largely abandoned railway corridor from rail to trail.  When we purchased our home in 2008, it was possible to travel to Victoria by rail.  We looked forward to taking this trip, perhaps for the reason that rail travel reminds us of simpler and unhurried lives. However, like many others, we never did. The cost, inconvenient schedule, and slow travel made it unattractive, and it remained a fantasy.

It has now been six years since rail service was discontinued, and while the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) is enthusiastic about the re-establishment of rail service, it is questionable that this will ever happen.  The tracks continue to deteriorate as costs to upgrade continue to increase. Support appears to be dwindling with the Regional District of Nanaimo withdrawing its financial support and the Snaw-Naw-As First Nations filing a civil claim in the BC Supreme Court against the ICF and the Attorney General. We understand that the local Rotary group has withdrawn its support for funding of the renovation to the Courtenay train station.

As you know, there is a very strong cycling community in the Comox Valley, a group which actively supports local businesses.  We are avid cyclists and our cycling groups always seek out trails to ride as an alternative to our busy roads and highways. The conversion to a multi use trail is a low cost alternative that will boost the economies of the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island with tourism dollars, while providing healthy and safe recreational opportunities for Comox Valley residents.

We look forward to your furthering this initiative which has widespread, and growing, community support.

Sincerely,

Robyn Rushford and Keith Wallace


10 July, 2017

Letter sent to Chief Councillor Michael Recalma

 

Dear Councillor Recalma,

Friends of Rails to Trails, Vancouver Island, (FORT-VI) is an unincorporated community group seeking removal of the E&N rails and re-purposing the rail bed as a non-motorized recreational trail, from Victoria to Courtenay, including the Port Alberni spur.  Since April, 2017, we have already received endorsement from the City of Nanaimo, the Village of Cumberland and the Regional District of Nanaimo, requesting that the Island Corridor Foundation support our proposal and establish an initial trail from Parksville to Courtenay. The trail would be essentially level, replacing the rails and using existing bridges, trestles and earthworks.

FORT-VI feels there is no future for Island rail service, especially along this section of the corridor.  We consider a trail to be an ideal way of utilizing the corridor in the interest of public health, recreation and tourism, as well as linking the many communities along its length far better and at considerably more locations and lower cost than ever provided by rail. We also anticipate commercial and cultural opportunity for the communities involved.

FORT-VI would value your input, participation and support and would welcome an opportunity to discuss this with your community.  The E&N has a controversial background but now may be the time to convert the corridor to more generally constructive purpose linking the Island’s history and future for the betterment of all its communities and residents.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

FORT-VI

Wilfrid Worland

Denise Savoie, Comox

Les Andersen, Parksville

Sherry Durnford, Ladysmith

Jodi Appleton, Victoria

 

Email copied to:

Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA, Comox

Scott Fraser, MLA Alberni–Pacific Rim

John Horgan, Premier-designate

Andrew Weaver, MLA, Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Gord Johns, MPP, Courtenay-Alberni