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The government of Canada has appointed Yves Desjardins-Siciliano as president and chief executive officer of VIA Rail Canada Inc. He succeeds Steve Del Bosco, who had served as interim president and CEO since Jan. 4 and now will resume his previous role as chief commercial planning officer.Prior to his appointment, Desjardins-Siciliano was the VIA Rail's chief corporate and legal officer and corporate secretary. Prior to joining the railroad in 2010, he held executive positions in a variety of industries in Montreal and Toronto, including business and corporate development, information technology, finance and marketing, and regulatory and government affairs posts, according to a VIA Rail press release."As directors of VIA Rail Canada, we are delighted that the government has chosen [Desjardins-Siciliano] to lead Canada's national passenger railway, someone whose career demonstrates a breath of experiences and expertise, an intimate knowledge of our largest markets, an ability to develop new value-creation strategies and a keen understanding of public policy," said Chairman Paul Smith.The task ahead: To ensure that intercity passenger rail continues to play a key role in Canada's economic prosperity, said Desjardins-Siciliano in a prepared statement.Meanwhile, a tentative agreement has been reached between VIA Rail and CN that will enable passenger-rail service to continue to the Newcastle subdivision. The agreement, which must be ratified by the railroads' respective boards, calls for VIA Rail to provide funding to CN for rehabilitation work on 44 miles of track between Nelson Junction and Nepisiquit Junction. The work represents a $10.2 million investment (in Canadian dollars) for VIA Rail, according to a press release issued by Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and New Brunswick Premier David Alward.As a result of the pact, VIA Rail will be able to continue to offer its Ocean passenger-rail service between Bathurst and Miramichi three days per week in each direction as part of its Montreal-Halifax service, they said.
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