With few exceptions, Via Rail is always more expensive than the bus. Via is also slower. Worse, passenger trains cause congestion on the heavily used rail network. Via is subsidized. Intercity bus travel isn't (and bus companies pay gas tax and, if they manage to make a profit, income tax).
If you have ever been stuck behind a slow moving clunker or an speed limit respecting intercity bus on a two lane highway, sending part of your gas tax to Via might make sense. But when was the last time that happened? We've four laned much of the country, with limited access to boot.
Time to drop Via from the federal budget.
Are Canadians not fat enough? Do they read too much? Do they not spend enough time listening to the radio in their cars? Why do we subsidize radio and TV? I'm a fan, and I probably get more out of the CBC-Radio-Canada than I pay in taxes. Still, I'm not sure I'd pay to watch Mr D or Artic Air...
Both the CBC and Via are comparatively small federal budget items. But if the priority is healthcare and education, they should go.