Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay is officially a director on the Island Corridor Foundation board representing the Regional District of Nanaimo.
McKay’s appointment was confirmed Thursday at his first board meeting hosted in Nanaimo. According to a news release issued by the ICF, McKay completes the term of former Nanaimo councillor and RDN director Ted Greves.
“I’m glad to be on the board,” he told The NEWS. “I really believe in the railway but we have to be patient and let it work through the regulatory process.”
The ICF is a federally registered charity established for the purposes of owning and managing the former E&N Corridor on Vancouver Island. The board’s membership is made up of people from the five Island regional districts and 14 First Nations that the corridor passes through. McKay said “there are too many jurisdictions where they’ve ripped up a track and 50 years later are kicking themselves for doing it.” He said he sees “commercial and business opportunities” in the future of rail. “It’s a very expensive proposition to get ships in and out of Vancouver and there is significant congestion,” he explained. “It’s only a matter of time until we see traffic that wants to go across Vancouver Island to Port Alberni, to and from Asia, they have the capacity. I think loading and offloading ships in Port Alberni will be a bid deal, never mind tourism.”