VIA Rail Canada Act

An Act respecting VIA Rail Canada and making consequential amendments to another Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.


Olivia Chow  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of March 4, 2014
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment establishes a legislative framework for the crown corporation of VIA Rail Canada and describes the scheme of governance and funding for it. It also requires VIA Rail Canada to maintain public passenger service for the routes set out in the schedule.

This enactment also amends the Canada Transportation Act to enable a railway company to electrify the tracks of another railway company, by applying to the Canadian Transportation Agency for this purpose. It accords scheduling and operational preference to public passenger service by VIA Rail Canada over freight service where there is a conflict between the two. It requires VIA Rail Canada and any other railway company to set out public passenger service performance standards and incentive payments in agreements between them and allows the Canadian Transportation Agency to investigate and impose monetary penalties for poor performance and delays. It promotes the transparency of agreements between VIA Rail Canada and another railway company to use that railway company’s facilities or services by requiring publication of these agreements.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Via Rail Canada ActRoutine Proceedings

March 4th, 2014 / 10:05 a.m.
See context


Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-577, An Act respecting VIA Rail Canada and making consequential amendments to another Act.

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present the VIA Rail protection bill. The bill presents a vision for the future of VIA Rail. It lays out a clear mandate and government structure. It gives it a larger say in determining its funding needs and frees the railway board from patronage appointments. By strengthening VIA Rail's position vis-à-vis CN and CP, delays for passenger trains would also be reduced.

Currently VIA Rail has no clearly delineated rights, powers, obligations, or mandated targets. Without legislative protection, it has suffered years of neglect and devastating service cuts. It is time to secure VIA Rail's role and responsibility through a federal law.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)