Rail for the Valley representatives
The Rail for the Valley campaign involves many individuals and
organizations who sometimes have differing views, but who are in
fundamental agreement on the need for passenger rail service for the
Fraser Valley. The following representatives speak their own opinions
and are examples of the diversity in this campaign.
a recusant transportation economist and regional planner based in
Richmond. Until 2004, he had worked for the Greater Vancouver
Transportation Authority. He has long advocated more sensible policies
to better integrate transport and land use, including the use of
existing railways such as the Inter-Urban line in the Fraser Valley.
Ben West is a socially conscious Vancouver filmmaker
and is the Healthy Communities campaigner for the Wilderness Committee. He
opposes the provincial government’s proposed Gateway Project and is a
strong advocate of passenger rail for the Fraser Valley.
Bryan Vogler, based in
New Westminster, has worked in the Canadian railway industry for
over thirty years. In the 1990s, he led a group that successfully
lobbied and implemented the West Coast Express. Bryan is today once more
volunteering his time for the community, working towards Rail for the
Malcolm Johnston is an expert on all things light rail, and is
an outspoken advocate on the potential of light rail for the Fraser
Valley. He is chair of the Light Rail Committee, based in Delta.
The Light Rail Committee advocates modern public transport modes,
including light rail and all other transit modes in the LRT family.
Sonya Paterson is a
determined advocate for passenger rail for the Fraser Valley NOW, and is
President of the Valley Transportation
Advisory Committee, a non-partisan non-profit organization with the
objective of encouraging workable, affordable and environmentally
sensitive transportation systems in the Lower Mainland. She is also a
Township of Langley school board Trustee.
Nathan Pachal is an
expert on the Inter-Urban railway, and an articulate voice for better
transportation for the Fraser Valley. Based in Langley, he is one
of the founders of South Fraser On
Trax, a non-partisan group of local people who have a passion for
making great communities even better with the introduction of sustainable
planning, building, and transportation options that are made available to
Val Ridsdale is one of the leaders of the Rail for the Valley
movement in Abbotsford. By talking to people, helping to organize
events, and keeping a close eye on local politics, she moves the
campaign forward. Being an artist and writer, she also helps the
campaign immensely with her creativity. Married with two grown sons, Val
has often travelled by rail when it was available, as an alternative to
buses, planes and especially cars. Her experiences have convinced her
that the Interurban Light Rail Line should be revived for passengers.
John Vissers, a volunteer for the Fraser Valley
Conservancy, is a committed advocate for the environment and our air
quality. Based in Abbotsford, he was one of the leaders in the
successful fight against the Sumas Energy 2 power plant proposal. He now
strongly advocates light rail for the valley, stressing the urgency of
implementing rail-based transit to connect Fraser Valley communities.
Graham Dalton is an enthusiastic Rail for the Valley activist
based in Chilliwack. He has recently travelled in Europe and has
realized the importance of electric trains and the dangers of using
small cars on our freeways. Graham’s personal goal is to save lives by
getting people out of their cars and onto trains.
John Buker is the founder of Rail for the Valley, and a
dedicated organizer for this campaign. Based in Chilliwack and
Vancouver, he believes that the public is way ahead of the
politicians on this issue, that we have waited long enough, and that by
putting aside our differences and mobilizing as a mass movement, we in
the Fraser Valley will get our vital passenger rail, sooner
rather than later.