Liberal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s plan to travel across Canada by train to discuss climate change was cancelled due to a lack of service by VIA Rail trains, according to a report in the National Post.

Guilbeault first announced the tour last year at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. 

“I look forward to travelling across the country early in the new year, by train, to meet and discuss (climate change) with Canadians in all parts of the country,” Guilbeault claimed. 

On Tuesday, Guilbeault’s office stated that VIA Rail didn’t have adequate service for the minister to take the trip. 

“Due to VIA Rail’s continued reduced capacity on their rail lines due to Covid as well as train car maintenance, logistically, it was not feasible to conduct a meaningful tour this year in all parts of the country,” said Guilbeault’s director of communication Oliver Anderson told the National Post.

“(We were not) able to bring together something that would be billed as a cross-country tour because it was not logistically feasible.” 

The office noted that VIA Rail trains do not service five of Canada’s provincial capitals and many routes are still down due to pandemic cancellations. 

“Nonetheless, the Minister is conducting broad outreach this year across Canada and continues to use the train often. He is a great supporter of train travel and the continued expansion of passenger rail networks in the country,” said Anderson. 

Guilbeault hasn’t ruled out embarking on a train tour in the future once VIA Rail routes return to pre-pandemic service levels. 

Last year, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland came under fire for refusing to take a public train to the COP26 glasgow and hiring a private driver to take her to the conference. 

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Freeland billed taxpayers over $3,000 for a luxury car service for her and her staff. 

Instead of staying in Glasgow, where the conference was located, Freeland stayed at a hotel in Edinburgh. A trip via public train routes would hace cost only $50-a-day.