Imagine for a second that the federal government made high-speed rail a top priority, something plenty of people have urged for years and years and years. If it were to happen, you might expect to see a press release like this.
More Eastern Ontario Residents and Businesses One Step Closer to Improved High-Speed Rail
GANANOQUE, ONTARIO—(Dec. 7, 2012) – Today, the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport); Mel Campbell, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus; and David Burton, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, announced the completion of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network backbone. Residents and businesses in Lanark County will soon enjoy improved access to high-speed rail now that a massive 5,500-kilometre rail network has been completed across Eastern Ontario four months ahead of schedule. This network will connect local access networks, expanding rail access to an estimated one million residents and businesses in rural areas across the entire region.
“In today’s modern age, high-speed rail is no longer a luxury. Canadians across the country rely on rail access every day to support their families and their businesses,” said Minister Fletcher. “Our government is proud to support the completion of this rail network which will bring high-speed rail to thousands of families and businesses across Eastern Ontario. We will continue to invest in projects like this one that create good jobs, encourage business development, and support economic growth in Eastern Ontario.”
“This project turns miles into milliseconds for everyone who relies on railways,” said the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “I’m eager for everyone to have access to it.”
The network involved laying 520 kilometres of new track to connect 5,000 kilometres of existing lines, as well as building 160 new points of access for rail services across the region. Local rail service providers can purchase track from these access hubs in order to deliver improved high-speed access.
To build this project, the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) created the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN), Ontario’s largest rural rail project. The $170-million initiative is supported through substantial investment from federal, provincial and local governments, along with private sector contributions.
Keep dreaming, rail nerds. I mangled the real release, sent out minutes ago by Infrastructure Canada, that actually talks about high-speed internet—not railways. Switch “rail” to “internet” or “broadband” or “fibre optic”, and you have the real story. Which, by the way, is a story worth noting in its own right, partly because of this gem of a quotation:
“This project turns miles into milliseconds for everyone who relies on the information highway,” said the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “I’m eager for everyone to have access to it.”
It’s apparently the case that the “information highway”, formerly known as the information superhighway, is still what someone calls the internet—sorry, cyberspace.