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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

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Latest media coverage

Nouvelle embuche pour le train de passagers Algoma Central - Isaac Gauthier|

Letter to the editor, Trudeau Government Shows Incompetence with ACR Train - Chad Beharriell

Sheehan under pressure as train's future remains unclear: History seems to be repeating itself as Transport Canada, now being run by the Liberal government, is denying the same subsidy the Conservatives did --by: Kenneth Armstrong  July 22, 2016

Transport Canada pulls plug on passenger rail subsidy  By: Ian Ross  Northern Ontario Business July 22, 2016


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Latest media coverage

Municipality of Wawa Continues Support for Immediate Resumption of Algoma Passenger Train Services | By Brenda Stockton-Grundt - July 21, 2016

Fed train aid goes off the rails | By Brian Kelly, Sault Star  Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sault-to-Hearst passenger rail doesn't qualify for Transport Canada funding, says minister.

The file has been shifted to the Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs : by Darren Taylor July 20, 2016

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Latest media coverage

 CTV Northern Ontario: Talking Transportation | CTV Northern Ontario News

 Rail line still needs action: MILLS By Tom Mills, Sault Star  Saturday, July 16, 2016

It's been one year since the passenger train shut down, we asked these people what they thought -

 Local issue taken on by totally non-local band -

 Radio Canada: "Meeting scheduled with CN"

  Muskoka Region: "Have your say on passenger rail returning to the north"

  Sudbury Star: "Groups push for rail in transport study"    

North Bay Nugget: "Groups push for rail in transport study"

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Email Minister Marc Garneau; attend Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Consultation

1.     Email Minister Marc Garneau to have passenger service restored between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst NOW.

Here is a suggested draft email message that you may want to send. Simply copy and paste it into an email message. Feel free to add your own comments about how the lack of service for the past year has impacted you. 

Please copy the email to:

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

MP Terry

MP Carol Hughes

and your own MP if you are living in another constituency.

 Suggested message:

 Dear Minister Marc Garneau (

Mid July marks one year since the Algoma passenger trains stopped running.  The Algoma Passenger Train Working Group has maintained its focus and has come up with a proposal that could see service flourish.   However, Transport Canada has not approved the use of the money set aside for this purpose in Budget 2015.

 The current proposal would see the passenger service run as a not for profit venture led by the Missanabie Cree First Nation with a Board of Directors representing the First Nations, municipalities and socio-economic stakeholders of the Algoma passenger train.  They have secured expert mentors with experience running passenger lines. The new Mask-wa Ootaban (Bear Train) will be more cost efficient while creating more employment and tax revenue. 

 The positive economic arguments became evident from a 2015 study undertaken by BDO Canada that conservatively estimates how the train creates direct and indirect economic activity in the range of 28 to 38 million dollars a year for the region’s severely challenged economy.  On top of that, the service supports 170-220 jobs, while generating those tax dollars that more than replaced the original yearly subsidy which was cut by the previous government thereby creating the whole problem in the first place.  Consider the cost of safety for people who must get into the remote areas that were serviced by passenger rail. Without the train, some residents from rail line communities--property owners, and individuals who make their living along the line---have been forced to rely on private industrial bush roads and abandoned logging roads that are not maintained for public use or even policed. Most property owners  have been left with no access to their land at all.  Some have tried to hike many miles through the bush and climb very steep hills to try to access their places. Many of these people are elderly or very young and could experience serious injuries while attempting these long, grueling and very unsafe hikes over miles of bush.

 This is a very short summary of some of the compelling reasons to free up the money that had already been set aside and get passenger services rolling.  Will the federal government honour the commitment of money for the Algoma passenger train from budget 2015?  Will you as Minister of Transportation do the right thing and bring passenger rail back between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst  now?

 (Feel free to add your own comment as to how the absence of the train has affected you.)

 Yours truly



Cc  Hon Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Terry Sheehan, MP for Sault Ste. Marie

Carol Hughes, MP Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing

2.     Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Consultation: Intercommunity Bus Modernization: Connecting Ontario Communities August 3. Click on the link below to register. It is free.

Please join the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s engagement sessions on intercommunity bus modernization. CAPT and NEORN members will be attending to express our position that passenger trains should be the primary form of intercommunity passenger service with buses as short feeder lines to the rail lines.  We want to see passenger train service restored on the existing Northern Ontario rail lines.

 MTO’s engagement sessions aim to facilitate discussion on choices for intercommunity passenger travel.

 Engagement consultations will take place during July and August in the following communities:

Owen Sound: July 12th, 2016 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Bayshore Community Centre, Shore Room 2, map

Orillia: July 13th, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, West Orillia Sports Complex,Tournament Room, map

Kenora: July 19th, 2016 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Clarion Inn, Rosewood Terrace, map

Thunder Bay: July 21st, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, Italian Cultural Centre, Galileo Room, map

North Bay: July 26th, 2016 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Nipissing University, 100 College Drive, Small Cafeteria, map

Sudbury: July 28th, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, United Steelworker’s Hall & Conference Centre, Second Hall, map

Sault Ste. Marie: August 3rd, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, John Rhodes Community Centre, Meeting Room 2, map

Timmins: August 4th, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, Ramada Timmins, Salon A, map

Niagara Falls: August 10th, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, Gale Centre Arena, Memorial Community Room, map

Toronto: August 11th, 2016 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Ryerson University, International Living & Learning Centre, International Room, map

London: August 16th, 2016 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Fanshawe College, 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd, Classroom: M3048, map

Sarnia: August 17th, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, Clearwater Community Centre, Lower Hall, map

Kingston: August 18th, 2016 9:00am - 12:00pm, City Hall, Memorial Hall, map


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Latest media coverage

·         With plan in place, passenger rail supporters press Ottawa to release subsidy -   Northern Ontario Business  June, 2016   Ian Ross,-passenger-rail-supporters-press-Ottawa-to-release-subsidy.aspx


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Letter & Resolution in Support of the Algoma Passenger Train from the Town of Hearst

 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.

Yours truly,

Janine Lecours
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.
About CAPT
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.

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Painted Land film screening at Korah Collegiate /ACR passenger train in art news


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

2.     ACR passenger train in art news

The local connection to a $500,000 sketch found on the other side of the world -  by Ken Armstrong

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