Saturday, May 24, 2008

Minister Falcon Talks About Tansportation Study Moving Forward

Really the headline for today's post should be "Unsung Heroes". Every day we read the headlines of the local papers and never see the inside view of what was going on behind the scenes. Here's a little insight into a recent headline...

I posted links to two newspaper articles last weekend from Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon. In them the Minister promised that the light rail study has been budgeted for and will move forward. On February 16, 2008, I sat in a Lion's Club Hall in Chilliwack listening to two dynamite speakers on Light Rail Transit.

Malcolm Johnston and Nathan Pachal spoke to a packed house. The excitement in that room was palpable and CTV had interviewed Nathan just prior to him speaking at that event. You can see the video clip of the CTV interview here. I believe Malcolm was interviewed by some newspapers as well that day, but I was unable to locate the links that have since been removed.

I recall seeing the CTV interview with Nathan about the old Interurban line that evening, and then CTV had located Minister Kevin Falcon earlier that day for comment. I recall the minister saying on CTV that the old Interurban rail line is something that we must study, so that "we don't blow our brains out financially".

Malcolm Johnston has been a member of the Light Rail Transit Association since 1984 and has served in numerous rail advocacy groups and meetings over the years. He is a fine, well-read man that has been a tireless advocate and expert for Light Rail Transit (LRT) for many, many years. Malcolm's technical knowledge of light rail is exceptional!

Nathan Pachal is a young accomplished Television Broadcast Engineer that serves his community of Langley City on the Parks and Recreation Committee and as Co-Founder of South Fraser OnTrax. He is also a strong supporter of SmartGrowth BC. He was also selected by the City of Abbotsford to serve on their new Inter-Regional Transportation Select Committee.

So, only four months later we see the minister talking about the study going forward. I know Nathan and Malcolm would never jump to take credit for anything, but I think all of us supporters of light rail owe great thanks to Nathan Pachal, Malcolm Johnston, and many others for their excellent presentations and advocacy over the years that have lead the transportation minister to make a commitment to study the Interurban line in February of this year. This is the news behind the news.

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