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 email@example.com
MP Terry Sheehanterry.firstname.lastname@example.org
MP Carol Hughes email@example.com
and your own MP if you are living in another constituency.
Dear Minister Marc Garneau (firstname.lastname@example.org):
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.)
Cc Hon Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn.email@example.com
Terry Sheehan, MP for Sault Ste. Marie firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Hughes, MP Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing email@example.com
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