Canadian Infrastructure Bank Could Be Tool By Which High-Speed Rail Gets Built

An artist's rendition of a planned high-speed train in California, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Washington state is exploring the possibility of a high-speed rail network for the Pacific Northwest built with help from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

OTTAWA — Washington state is exploring whether Canada’s new infrastructure bank could help finance a multibillion-dollar proposal for high-speed rail between Vancouver and the U.S. northwest.

The Trudeau government’s soon-to-be-launched, $35-billion infrastructure bank will seek to use public funds as leverage to attract billions more in private investment for major infrastructure projects, such as bridges, transit systems and rail lines.

The legislative blueprint for the infrastructure bank also allows for the use public money to help bankroll projects “in Canada or partly in Canada,” provided there’s a financial benefit and a physical connection to the country.

The state of Washington has taken notice.

It’s looking at the infrastructure bank as a potential financing option for a long-discussed high-speed rail connection between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, says one of the governor’s senior policy advisers.

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Charles Knutson, an adviser for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, said Ottawa’s infrastructure bank will be analyzed as a financing option in an ongoing feasibility study for the rail proposal.

Earlier this year, Inslee committed US$1 million towards a cost-benefit analysis of the “ultra high-speed” rail line that would see trains run at speeds of at least 400 km/h. The final report is due in December.

“We’ve heard from some of our Canadian counterparts that that’s a tool that we could explore and we’re open to looking into that further,” Knutson told The Canadian Press in an interview.

“The fact that it is something that could support cross-border projects seems to be a good match, but we’d need to know more.”

He added that the cost-benefit analysis will provide a better sense of the scope of the project and help determine what kinds of financing options would be available.

The high-speed rail link has support from political leaders in the region and from the business community, including high-tech giant Microsoft. They see it as part of …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

Trump Asks Why ‘Beleaguered’ Jeff Sessions Isn’t Investigating Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Monday continued to assail the multiple investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, calling out his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, ahead of private testimony this week from members of Trump’s family and inner circle.

In one of a series of Monday morning tweets, the president wondered why the various investigations into Moscow’s election interference were not “looking into Crooked Hillarys [sic] crimes & Russia relations.”

So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2017

Trump singled out “our beleaguered A.G.” Jeff Sessions, who previously recused himself from the Russia investigations, citing his role in Trump’s campaign, and after failing to disclose meetings with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

Shortly after Sessions recused himself, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead a wide-ranging probe.

Trump said last week that he would not have appointed Sessions had he known the attorney general would recuse himself.

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he told the New York Times in an interview. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”

Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, eldest son Donald Trump Jr., and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort are all set to face closed-door questions from congressional investigators this week concerning their contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.

Trump’s tweet on Monday appeared shortly after a segment …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

Agassiz RCMP call off search for missing Australian hiker

Agassiz RCMP have suspended the search at Statlu Lake for 34-year-old Australian hiker Sophie Dowsley.

Dowsley and her Canadian partner Greg Tiffin were last seen in Harrison Hot Springs on July 8.

Their vehicle was later found parked near a Statlu Lake hiking trail by Kent Harrison Search and Rescue.

Tiffin’s body was discovered July 18 in Statlu Lake, one week after the pair was reported missing.

The RCMP underwater recovery team failed to find Dowsley.

“A thorough ground and air search of the region has been conducted for Sophie. Although the initial land and air search is suspended our missing person investigation remains open,” RCMP spokesperson Corp Mike Rail said in a statement. “RCMP remain in close contact with her family”.

…read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun