Augiust 16, 1991 - Order-in-Council - 1480 - Authority for the sale of the CNR Railway Station in Aurora, Ontario to GO Transit.
January 18, 1991 - Canadian National Railways Act - Approval of the entry into a sales agreement between Via Rail Canada Inc., Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Limited of the Ottawa Station Building.
The CN Commercialization Act of 1995 led to the demise of Canada's first Crown corporation, a major industry that employed hundreds of thousands of Canadians.The negative repercussions created by the sale of the CNR continue to this day:
At The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba a bulldozer operator noticed that hundreds of boxes were left in a CNR building. The operator halted the work and called in a heritage group; two trucks were needed to haul away the historic documents. See the video on YouTube: "24 Hours - CN Archive Found at the Forks."
A few years ago, CN workers at the Symington Yards in Winnipeg, Manitoba were told to remove a Canadian Maple Leaf Flag from inside a building. In 2003, Federal Transport Minister David Collenette called it "obscene" that the railway changed its name from "Canadian National" to "CN"---a move that distanced the company from any reference to Canada.
At one time, the words "Canadian" or "Canada" were going to be removed from the word mark "CN Tower". The mega-corporation is constantly removing railway lines, and train stations have been converted into day care centres, or abandoned...The other day, I saw a photograph in the newspaper of a train station being hauled away on a flatbed truck to a new location. At least the building was not vandalized, set on fire or left to rot (CN offered to give the Grand Trunk Railway Station in Kingston, Ontario to the City of Kingston, but the offer was turned down.)
Back in the 1960's, the major employers in my hometown, Smiths Falls, were the railways, the Hershey Chocolate Factory and the Rideau Regional Hospital School. Via Rail recently built an "adorable" and "small but mighty" train station in my hometown. My two-car garage is bigger than this building:
|A Via Rail "stationette" in Smiths Falls, Ontario.|
|Via is selling four acres of land surrounding the Halifax station.|
|The Thunder Bay, Ontario train station.|
Via Rail, an important Crown corporation, a vital industry, is being gutted, just as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is being divested of land, buildings, transmission infrastructure... Long before the Canadian National Railway was privatized, it was stripped of Crown assets.
During the early 1970's, the Trudeau government encouraged Canadians to get out and see their country by train; I bought a railway pass for $100 dollars, which gave me, and thousands of other Canadians, the opportunity to see Canada from coast-to-coast. The trip was unforgettable, despite the fact that I could only afford to eat cheese sandwiches, potato chips and granola (horse food, we called it). My fellow travellers and I sang, strummed guitars and rattled tambourines, played cards, smoked cigarettes,talked endlessly, knitted, wrote letters and marvelled at the scenery...the irreplaceable, wonderful Dominion of Canada. I find it difficult to accept the fact that Bill Gates is a major shareholder of the CNR---a national treasure, The People's Railway, created by my ancestors.