MONTREAL – Via Rail says it expects to cut 200 unionized jobs, or about nine per cent of its positions, as the government-owned passenger rail service adjusts to federal budget cuts.
   
Those adjustments also include changes to rail service, which the company characterizes as “adjusting frequencies on specific routes to better reflect customer demand.”
   
Further details on the service changes are expected at news conference in Winnipeg.
   
Early Wednesday, a company spokeswoman denied rumours that whole routes would be cut.
   
Mylene Belanger says the announcement in Winnipeg will have impacts all over the country.
   
The Harper government’s recent budget reduced subsidies to the passenger rail service by $6.5 million this year, $15.1 million in 2013-14 and $19.6 million in 2014-15.
   
Via Rail has worked to reduce its operating deficit.

Excluding pension costs, the shortfall was reduced to $9 million in 2010 and a larger reduction was realized in 2011.