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Another Canadian-U.S. Success

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Portland's Union Station

Always make time to celebrate your victories; when it comes to mourning, your defeats will make time for themselves.

One victory to celebrate tonight is the announcement that the Canadian government has okayed a "second train" between Portland/Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. We at Discovery Institute (home to the Cascadia Center) have long promoted passenger rail nationally, and especially the re-connection of the U.S. and Canada on the West Coast. The "first train" came between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. came some years ago. Now the second is opening in time for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler/Blackcomb resort.

Passenger rail is not the solution to clogged freeways and the long delays at airports. But it is part of the solution. That is widely recognized in transportation circles, but it is a particularly dicey idea to forward when one is dealing with foreign governments. Amtrak, to its credit, has been positive all the way on the line up to Vancouver. In contrast, the Conservative government in Ottawa was slow to take on the issue--some bureaucrats wanted to charge Amtrak for Customs processing--but it did come around at last. Congratulations to them.

This is one more sign of the renewed cross-border friendship Cascadia Center has promoted tirelessly for nearly 17 years now. It's nice to have The Seattle Times make mention.

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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