Personally, I think that services like the Northlander, Toronto-Sarnia, and in the future Toronto-Kingston & Ottawa-Kingston (once the HFR corridor is finished) should be run by Metrolinx under a separate, Province-wide rail banner (i.e. not GO, maybe called ONrail or something). That would let VIA concentrate on the QC-Windsor corridor, and those communities wouldn't be beholden to the Feds to provide rail service.
It would also make things easier to be operating multiple lines under the same configuration, since you get consistency in terms of vehicles, maintenance, employees, etc.
The issue is weather. Trains don't stop in a blizzard. Trains don't stop when the highway is closed.If the $400+ subsidy per passenger for the train that the liberal government mentioned is true (with inflation might be $600 today). Wouldn't it be better to provide hourly bus trips every day instead of trains for now?
I assume this must have been discussed in this thread but nothing came up when I did a search.