It is not a shocker. However, the government is willing to give money to the private corporations and let all government owned enterprises struggle. That is where I have a problem. Maybe it is time for some of those companies to fail. Maybe it is time that shareholders learn what it is like to loose big. Maybe it is time that people learn that if the company is doing shady things, or cannot balance their books, they shut down.I know that will never be allowed to happen, but it would help everyone realize the mess we are in.
You seem to think there's no consequences to the economy or actual survival in some parts of the country, if we let our airlines fail. You may believe this. Most of the country, economists and politicians don't. And again, aviation brings in far more money to the government that whatever they have paid out in subsidies and bailouts, which is exactly why there's bipartisan consensus across the political spectrum on supporting the sector.
Comparing us to Europe is a straw man argument. We have much less population, and move more freight over rail, and really only have 2 freight operators.
I don't think you understand what a strawman argument is. It is highly relevant that our two major freight operators move more cargo in a country of 38 million than all of the freight operators in the European Union (~446 million) COMBINED. And it's not even close. They move substantially more. And this is something that has a massive environmental benefit for this country. Moving that much freight by trucks as the Europeans do would be massively expensive and extremely polluting. As much as we fantasize about European passenger rail, they are desperately trying to build a freight rail network like ours, both to be economically competitive and to reduce emissions. We have a better shot of providing decent rail services in our dense population corridors than they will ever have of building freight rail networks like what we have.
Most of Canada's rail lines are not at capacity.
Source? Freight traffic is up substantially over the last few decades. Tracks have also been removed and lines decommissioned. So capacity utilization is most definitely higher than it has been in the past.
The issue is that freight operators prioritize their cargo over passengers.
Which is exactly why we should build a rail network exclusively for passengers. So we don't have to rely on CN and CP to move passengers. As a bonus we get rail corridors that are actually designed for faster passenger operations instead of the carnival ride that is most freight rail corridors. Trying to run trains on freight rails is always going to be a compromise solution, that where possible we should avoid.
People need to understand that moving cargo by rail is far more profitable, economically vital and environmentally friendly than moving people by rail. In no small part because there's no need to move freight quickly. As such, there is no government (of any party) in power that is going to start demanding that CN and CP take massive financial hits to facilitate VIA. We will have to spend more money to pay for the track we need for passengers. In dedicated passenger rail corridors, or in CN and CP's corridors. It's just that simple. And once everyone finally gets around to accepting this reality, we can get around to building more dedicated passenger rail corridors where it makes economic sense, finally leaving sharing freight rail corridors to tourist trains and infrequent regional services.