Baird calls for resignation of acting Via president

Foreign Affairs Minister and Ottawa West MP John Baird says he wants the interim president of Via Rail to step down sooner rather than later.

The comments come following a rash of signal malfunctions at the six level rail crossings in Barrhaven.

"I think Via's leadership in this regard have been a failure technically and a failure with respect to their engagement with the public and the people deserve better," said Baird.

Pausing from discussions about the Ukraine crisis with his counterpart from the Netherlands, Baird said he's lost confidence in Via Rail interim CEO Steve Del Bosco.

"If you can't operate the technical capacities of a rail crossing, let alone the simple engagement with the public in an honest, transparent and expeditious basis, I don't think you're qualified to run the railways," said Baird.

He said Via's mistake in blaming OC Transpo for Monday's malfunction at Fallowfield is the last straw. Baird insisted he was speaking for the government on this issue.

"I laid out my views very clearly and I would encourage you to watch in the coming days," said Baird.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has met with the chair of Via and in a written statement her press secretary said the "Minister expects more from Via going forward."

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