OTTAWA (June 28, 2023) – Leading executive Fiona Blondin has joined the VIA HFR – VIA TGF Inc. board of directors, the Crown corporation announced today.
Blondin, a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, is Vice President of Indigenous Strategy at Cormorant Utility Services, headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario.
She has over 25 years of combined experience in power, mining, public sector, and private consulting for First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities. Ms. Blondin brings exceptional leadership skills, and a wealth of experience and understanding of infrastructure projects involving Indigenous communities.
She joins as VIA HFR advances its preparations to develop one of the largest infrastructure projects in Canadian history. VIA HFR will transform intercity passenger rail service in Canada through the creation of a faster, more frequent, accessible and sustainable rail service between Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Quebec City.
“The High-Frequency Rail (HFR) project is a large, complex project requiring major investment and intersecting with many communities and interests. Fiona Blondin brings a unique perspective on Indigenous partnerships and participation that are central to our project’s success. We are very fortunate to bring Fiona on to our board.”
Chair of the Board of Directors, VIA HFR – VIA TGF Inc.
“I am humbled and honoured by the opportunity to advance the largest sustainable transportation project in a generation. With the participation of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, High Frequency Rail will help to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships, advance partnerships and economic reconciliation, and build a brighter future for all who call this land home.”
Member of the Board of Directors, VIA HFR – VIA TGF Inc.
The High Frequency Rail project would transform passenger rail service in Canada through the creation of a faster, more frequent, accessible, and sustainable railway between Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, Montreal, Trois-Rivières, and Quebec City.
The Government of Canada is preparing to issue a Request for Proposals late this summer to three bidding teams selected through a competitive Request for Qualifications. The selected bidder will work with VIA HFR, a new Crown corporation, to design and develop a detailed proposal for the HFR project.
The Government of Canada expects bidders to detail how they will contribute positively to the advancement of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Bidders will have to demonstrate how they will support the government to build meaningful dialogue with Indigenous peoples and create opportunities for mutual benefit.