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Digital Letters to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Wynne
The letter is now in the form of a petition that you can fill out and send on-line by clicking on this link:
Note: This petition is available in 4 languages.
CreeLetterNEORN Click here to get the Cree version
Coalition for Algoma Passenger trains:
Letter & Resolution in Support of the Algoma Passenger Train from the Town of Hearst
June 3, 2016
Chief Jason Gauthier
Missanabie Cree First Nation
559 Queen Street East
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 2A3
Dear Chief Gauthier:
Please find enclosed a certified true copy of the Town of Hearst's self-explanatory resolution adopted on May 31, 2016 in support of the Missanabie Cree First Nation and Algoma Passenger Train Working Group's efforts to reinstate the Algoma Passenger Train service in our area.
Proposed by : Councillor Raymond Vermette
Seconded by : Councillor Daniel Lemaire
WHEREAS the Federal Government decided in late 2013 to cease its investment in the Algoma Central passenger train service, an investment which it continued for many years to ensure safe and reliable access into many remote areas between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst, Ontario; and
WHEREAS the service was discontinued by CN Rail as a result of the loss of the Federal Government's investment in early 2014; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the cessation of this service, access has now been denied to many residents, tourist business operators, trappers and First nations, and
WHEREAS a Working Group has been formed comprised of affected stakeholders, chaired by Chief Jason Gauthier of Missanabie Cree First Nation, and
WHEREAS the group is moving forward on a plan to create a not-for-profit corporation to be led by Missanabie Cree First Nation and to include representation from the communities affected (Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst), and all other stakeholders as identified; and
WHEREAS the continued and ongoing investment by Transport Canada is absolutely essential to the successful return of passenger rail service to the region as was recognized by the previous Government in 2015 when it reconsidered its position and announced a further 3 years of funding; and
WHEREAS Transport Canada's stated mission is "To serve the public interest through the promotion of a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada"; and
WHEREAS a study completed in 2015 by BDO Canada concluded that the Algoma passenger train is in the public interest in that it supported:
$38-$48 million in direct and indirect economic impact
170-220 direct and indirect jobs
$5.12-$6.45 million in tax generation; and
WHEREAS this same study also concluded that at least 75% of residents and property owners of the Algoma passenger rail corridor do not have other safe or reliable year-round access to their residences or properties; and
WHEREAS Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban (The Bear Train) is an initiative of the Missanabie Cree First Nation and the Algoma Passenger Train Working Group to re-establish and optimize the Algoma passenger train service to support the social, economic, employment and remote access needs of the First Nations, communities, residents, businesses and socio-economic stakeholders of the Algoma passenger train corridor, an initiative that follows and supports the mission of Transport Canada;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council of the Town of Hearst supports the efforts of the Working Group and requests that the Government of Canada recognize the mission of Transport Canada and support immediate resumption of the Algoma passenger train services by:
1. Requiring and compensating CN Rail to immediately resume scheduled service of the Algoma passenger train to support the social, economic, employment and remote access needs of the First Nations, communities, residents, businesses and socio-economic stakeholders of the Algoma passenger train corridor.
2. Supporting the Missanabie Cree First Nation and Algoma Passenger Train Working Group in their cooperative development of Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban, the Bear Train, to assume responsibility for, and optimize long-term operations of the Algoma passenger train in order to maximize the economic, employment, remote access and other public interests and values of the Algoma passenger train, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Hearst Council requests that the Government of Canada's future decisions concerning direction for the support, scheduling and maintenance of Algoma's passenger train services be based on the economic, employment, environmental, social, public safety and other needs dependent on the passenger train services along with consultation with First Nations, communities, residences, businesses and socio-economic stakeholder interests, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Hearst Council requests that the federal and provincial government recognize the Algoma Central Railway passenger train services and the rail access corridor it serves as a unique and valuable cultural, historic, recreational, environmental and economic asset where Federal and Provincial planning and investment need to consider the value and viability of train travel and recreation, and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT a copy of this resolution be sent to:
surrounding municipalities for support,
MPs and MPPs serving the Algoma District,
all senior provincial and federal politicians,
MP Terry Sheehan,
MP Carol Hughes,
MPP David Orazietti,
MPP Michael Mantha,
Canada's Minister of Transport Marc Garneau,
Ontario's Minister of Northern Development Michael Gravelle,
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and
Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne.
The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) is a not-for-profit organization comprised of individuals, businesses, First Nations, municipalities and other interests who recognize the significant economic, social, cultural, historical and environmental value of passenger rail servicing and interconnecting the people, businesses and communities of Northern Ontario's Algoma District to each other, Ontario, Canada and the rest of the world. To accomplish this goal, CAPT has been working with local groups to organize events in the community that utilize the railway as a means of advertising and demonstrating its usefulness in the area.
1. KORAH COLLEGIATE SCREENING “PAINTED LAND” FILM
7-9 pm Thursday June 2 in Korah Auditorium
As part of the 5th Annual Relay for Life, Korah students have organized a screening of award-winning 2015 film Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven on Thursday June 2nd from 7-9 pm in Korah Auditorium. The film will be introduced by Joanie and Gary McGuffin. A Question and Answer period with them will follow the film and intermission.
Admission is by monetary donation to Korah's Relay for Life and is open to everyone in the community.
At a CAPT table, letters can be signed to be sent to the federal government urging restoration of the passenger train.
By path, paddle and train, local art historian Michael Burtch and the conservation photographer-author team of Gary and Joanie McGuffin take us on a journey to discover Canada’s most famous artists and the landscapes immortalized in their internationally renowned works of art.
For further information please contact me, Cosimo Martella at Korah 705-945-7180 ext 66536 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. ACR passenger train in art news
The local connection to a $500,000 sketch found on the other side of the world - SooToday.com by Ken Armstrong
Opportunities to sign letters to federal government about Algoma passenger train at Station Mall in the Sault
If you are in the Sault area and would prefer to sign paper copies of the online letter to Federal government decision-makers asking for reinstatement of the Algoma passenger train NOW:
- come to the Station Mall on the morning of Wed. May 24 from 9:30 to 1:30
- or the afternoon of Wed. June 1 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.
Look for the CAPT table in front of EB Games store.
1. Media Release re: Online Petition
This is the media release jointly sent out today by CAPT and Mask-Wa Residents Association:
COALITION FOR ALGOMA PASSENGER TRAINS AND MASK-WA RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
MEDIA RELEASE : May 12, 2016
The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) and the Mask-Wa Residents Association have created a new on-line letter to Transport Canada, Minister Marc Garneau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MP Terry Sheehan and MP Carol Hughes asking for the passenger train service on the Algoma Central Railway to be reinstated right away.
This is the text of the letter posted at: This is the text of the letter posted at: https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-acr-passenger-train-needed-now?recruiter=438018678&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink
ALGOMA PASSENGER TRAIN NEEDED NOW
The Algoma passenger train has not been operating for almost a year and has resulted in substantial hardships for residents, businesses and other passengers. Most passengers have no other way to travel to their properties and businesses. 400 km of the 470 km Algoma rail line is not accessible by public road. For the few people who have found alternate ways to access their residences, those alternatives, such as logging roads, are not reliable, safe or year round. People have been injured and/or had their vehicles badly damaged on the logging roads. Logging roads are only maintained when and if logging companies need them. The Algoma passenger train has been the only safe, affordable, all-season access into the Algoma wilderness rail corridor for over 100 years.
Given that the mission of Transport Canada is: “to serve the public interest through the promotion of a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada”; we ask that the Algoma passenger train be put back in service right away.
We have been patient with the process, but we have suffered substantial losses to the local economy and employment as a result of the cancellation of the passenger train service last year, as well as loss of safe, reliable access to our residences, businesses and recreation. We question why the Algoma passenger train service has been allowed to lapse for almost a year given the social, economic, employment and tax generation values it supports as shown in the BDO Canada report of 2015. Also, why has the process of resuming service taken so long?
Due to further economic downturns in Algoma district, we cannot afford this loss of train-related employment, economic impact and lack of safe, reliable access to continue. We understand the Missanabie Cree First Nation has developed a proposal to operate the Algoma Passenger Train. It is urgent that service be restored NOW.
Linda Savory Gordon (CAPT) 705 943 0971 or 705 949 2301 es 4320 email@example.com
Len Piccolo (Mask-Wa Residents Association) 705 987 2580 firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Recent Media Coverage
Passenger train service movement growing by Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star Tues, May 10, 2016
Support Growing | myAlgoma.ca
Regional group looking to see train service revitalized by richard.coffin on May 12, 2016
CAPT says Passenger Train is Needed Now – Launches Change.org Petition Wawa-News
Passenger train service movement growing | Sault Star Elaine Della-Mattia
Sootoday Bring our train back right this minute: CAPT
Before more people are injured trying to get to their camps
CTV Northern Ontario : Rail line hopes by Jordan Allard
Latest Media Coverage
“Property owners along rail line form new group” By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star, April 20, 2016
“Remote train people band together, as fight resumes to save service. Future not-for-profit to be created”
“Keeping Passenger Rail Service Alive in the North: Founding Meeting of Mask-wa Residents Association”
A new presentation has been added
A presentation titled "Working to Save the ACR Passenger Train" has been added to the "Documentations/Presentations/Films" menu.
This presentation outlines why CAPT was formed. Through pictures, slideshows, videos and text, you can see the reasons the passenger train is so important to so many people. The train takes people to their private camps, tourists, to hunting/fishing lodges/camping experiences, where a number of outdoor activities are enjoyed and appreciated.
Using the same method as mentioned above, events such as the Searchmont North Pole Express, Group of Seven/Glenn Gould Event, and other money making strategies are outlined.
You can find this presentation by clicking on "Documentations/presentations/films" on the menu above.
Thank you to all who made the recent screening of Painted Land in Sault Ste. Marie so successful. There was a huge turnout to see the film about the newly discovered Group of Seven painting sites along the ACR, to see how the famous artists accessed the amazing Algoma landscapes by the passenger train and to hear a most stimulating panel discussion moderated by Chancellor Shirley Horn. Also on the panel were artist Frank Belleau, Carol Caputo (Algoma Kinnawabi Travel Association) and art historian Michael Burtch. Indigenous perspectives were eloquently presented.
On the day of the Sault screening, Michael Burtch was interviewed on CBC Radio. Here is the link to that interview:
CAPT is of course delighted that Spirit Land continues to be screened throughout the country. This is a terrific way for more people to become aware of the importance of keeping the Algoma passenger train running. Since there are some on the CAPT email list to whom these messages are sent who live in the Toronto area we want to let you know about the upcoming screenings there.
This is a link to the dates for the screenings of Painted Land at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto:
1. Reminder about Painted Land film screening:
This is a reminder that the fabulous film with so much footage taken along the ACR line will be shown this Wed. Mar. 23 at 7:00 pm.
Tickets can be purchased:
- on line at www.nordikinstitute.com
- at Shabby Motley on Queen
- at Café Natura on Elgin or
- at the door if not sold out.
2. Latest Media Coverage:
First Nation to take lead on passenger rail - SooToday.com Mar 16, 2016 by Kenneth Armstrong
CTV Northern Ontario: Algoma Central Railway by Jairus Patterson March 18, 2016
1. Group of Seven Film Screening: Wed. Mar 23, 2016,
7 pm Grand Theatre
Great opportunity to see the film entitled Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven. This film shows how important the passenger train is as the only form of transportation that the Group of Seven painters had to access the sites that they painted along the ACR line and continues to be the only form of transportation for those who wish to re-access all those sites. It runs through such an important Canadian cultural corridor.
This is the media release that provides the details:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Film on Group of Seven Returns Due to Strong Demand
“The most important thing a painter can do is find a good place to sit.” – J.E.H. MacDonald
Sault Ste. Marie hosted two sold-out showings of Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven last October during the Algoma Fall Festival, but theatre-goers and art lovers alike have shown such interest in the locally produced film, that it is being brought back to the Grand Theatre on Queen Street on Wednesday March 23. Co-hosted by NORDIK Institute and the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) this screening will be followed by a panel of local speakers involved in the film’s making.
“This film is not only about the artists and their work” says Michael Burtch, art historian and Research Associate at NORDIK Institute. “It is about how the remote, rugged wilderness of Northern Ontario influenced, inspired and provided healing to them, after their experiences in the First World War”. Past meets present in Painted Land and weaves seamlessly the experiences of Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael and A.J. Casson, as they explored Algoma’s Landscape by rail, staying in a boxcar of the Algoma Central Railway for several summers – with the adventures of three modern day sleuths. Historian Michael Burtch, and the writer and photographer team of Gary and Joanie McGuffin are determined to track down the precise locations of these famous paintings. Archival film, letters, journals and photographs of the artists – some of which have never been seen in public – take the viewers back in time. This film weaves this history with a modern day adventure, up mountains, down canyon rivers and over portages with our trio as they try to achieve their own personal quest: to actually ‘walk in the Group of Seven’s footsteps’
The panel discussion, entitled “Connecting Land, Art and People: Multiple Perspectives” will be moderated by Missanabie Cree Elder and Chancellor of Algoma University, Shirley Horn, and features Michael Burtch, local artist Frank Belleau, and Carol Caputo from the Algoma Kinnawabi Tourism association. Burtch and Belleau were involved with making the film as were local adventurers Gary and Joanie McGuffin and videographer Dan Nystedt.
Tickets for the film may be purchased at local businesses:
- Café Natura on Elgin Street
- Shabby Motley Handcraft on Queen,
- or on-line at nordikinstitute.com
2. Latest media coverage:
Sault Star Mar 12, 2016 "Is good news around the corner for rail users?” by Mike Verdone