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MP Del Mastro has key meeting with CP Rail execs
Published: July 9, 2008
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Dean Del MastroMP Dean Del Mastro (Rail Caucus Chair) and MP James Rajotte (Edmonton-Leduc, Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology Chair) met with key CP Rail executives on Monday July 7 in the refurbished Royal Canadian Pacific (circa 1920s) passenger train between Calgary and Edmonton.

"There is a nostalgia that surrounds the railway in Canada, after all our country's confederation was literally built with rail lines that tied together east and west," says MP Del Mastro.

"It seems only fitting that discussions around the future of rail transportation in Canada take place aboard a train that reminds us of that history as we look forward to the incredible development opportunities that lie before us."

The CP representatives included president and CEO Fred Green, vice-president of government affairs Michael Murphy, VP of strategy and external affairs Jane O'Hagan, assistant VP of grain marketing and sales Michael Adams and director of government affairs Robert Taylor.

Coincidentally, discussions revealed that Fred Green's first account as an account manager was Quaker Oats now operating in Peterborough as Pepsi-QTG.

The topics of the discussions ranged from the current rail transportation environment, to future opportunities as well as obstacles faced by the industry and CP Rail. The meetings gave MP Del Mastrol an opportunity to discuss the redevelopment of the Havelock Sub-Route which connects the Peterborough riding to the main national or class 1 rail distribution networks.

The group also discussed the necessity and opportunities that exist for government partnership with the various short-line operators for redevelopment and refurbishment of all Ontario short-line rail networks as championed by the Rail Association of Canada.

Industry chair James Rajotte highlighted that "the environment, logistical and economic benefits of Canada's rail industry are incredibly significant."

"Whether we are looking at building a stronger and leading economy or dramatically reducing emissions and logistical demand for personal transportation or the shipment of goods, Canada's rail network is poised to play a substantial role in Canada's future as it has in shaping Canada's unique history," he says.

Royal Canadian PacificMP Del Mastro's grandfather Arcangelo was hired by CP Rail in 1927 upon his immigration from Italy to Canada. Stationed in Britt, Ontario near Parry Sound, he later transferred to Toronto where he remained with the company until his mandatory retirement at the age of 70. His travel from the piers in Halifax to the shores of Lake Huron in Northern Ontario took place aboard perhaps the very Montreal built rail cars that now comprise the Royal Canadian Pacific train.

"My grandfather committed his working life to the well-being of the Canadian Pacific Railway," says MP Del Mastro.

"He simply loved the railway. My work as Chair of the Rail Caucus and in the redevelopment of the Havelock sub-route is something that would make him very proud. Riding on the rails aboard the Royal Canadian Pacific was very much a full-circle experience as well as an exciting opportunity to take part in."

MP Del Mastro has invited the President and CEO Fred Green to visit Peterborough in the near future as well as any members of his executive and government relations team.

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