CAPT UPDATE

Dear CAPT supporters,

 We continue to receive letters and are circulating petitions.

 We wish to publicly thank the Canadian Federation of Students for their very generous cheque to support the campaign to save the ACR passenger train. The cheque was delivered by Kaitlyn Teller, Vice President External of the Algoma University Student Union.  Kaitlyn expressed the students’ need for passenger train service when she said: “We need more passenger trains, not fewer”.  Students find trains the most affordable, safest, most comfortable and environmentally respectful way to travel.  It should be an option for Northern Ontario students just as it is for those in Southern Ontario.

Here is the latest news coverage:

A busy Week for Passenger Rail in Algoma| Stories Sault Online

http://saultonline.com/community/a-busy-week-for-passenger-rail-in-algoma

Journal Le Nord

http://www.lenord.on.ca/entree-lenord.htm

Passenger rail committee moving forward | Sault Star

http://saultonline.com/community/a-busy-week-for-passenger-rail-in-algoma

All Aboard – Help Save our Train ( This article includes a petition )

http://saultonline.com/community/please-help-save-our-train

town hall meeting
CAPT and supporters at Town Hall Meeting

 

CAPT Town Hall Meeting in Wawa Thursday, 20 February 2014 05:59 Written by Brenda Grundt  At 10 am, CAPT is holding the second of three Town Hall Meetings regarding the removal of the Federal Passenger Train Subsidy that forced CN to cancel the Passenger Train service from SSM to Hearst effective April 30th, 2014.

 CAPT explains in their press release that this will be an opportunity for everyone to express their ideas about this devastating decision by Transport Canada, the false information on which the decision was made and what they are planning to do to have the decision reversed.

The guest speaker is Harry Gow, transportation expert and founding president of Transport Action Canada.

A 7 minute film trailer by White Pine Productions of a major upcoming documentary film about the ACR and recently discovered Group of Seven painting sites will be introduced by Michael Burtch, and Joanie and Gary McGuffin.

A special message of support for the continuation of the ACR passenger train from world renowned Canadian artist and environmentalist, Robert Bateman, will be read.

An update about the working group of stakeholders which is being led by the City of Sault Ste. Marie. The newly formed Working Committee includes, but is not limited to:

Joe Fratesi, City of Sault Ste. Marie, Chair Tom Dodds, SSM Economic Development Corporation

Linda Nowicki, Representative for Wawa (Alternate Yvan Besner)

Sylvie Fontaine, Representative for Hearst

Councillor Bev Nantel (alternate: Louise Perrier)Representative for Dubreuiville

Chief Joe Buckell, Representative for First Nations (tentative)

Ian McMillan, Tourism Representative for Sault Ste. Marie

Carol Caputo, Tourism Representative for Algoma Region

Al Errington, Representative for CAPT Dennis Henderson, Representative for Cottage Owners

Support is building and increasing daily. This is an opportunity for  you to hear directly about the arguments against cancellation of the passenger train and what is being done to reverse this destructive decision.

2014-02-19 – SSM Council Pledges $50,000 Towards Working Committee for CN Rail Passenger Train

2014-02-17 – CAPT Update – CN Sets new Termination Date for ACR Passenger Train

 2014-02-13 – Town Hall Meetings – All Aboard! To save ACR Passenger Train

2014-02-07 – Terry Seguin talks to Ross Capon of the National Association of Railroad Passengers

2014-02-07 – A Letter to the Ambassador of Canada to the US – CN

  2014-02-07 – Hughes and Mantha maintain pressure in defence of ACR passenger service / Les députés Hughes et Mantha continuent d’exercer des pressions pour sauver le service voyageurs d’ACR

  2014-02-07 – Carol Hughes – Emergency Debate Video & Comments of Feb. 5th (CN Rail)

   2014-02-05 – Local Trapper Will Lose Livelihood if CN Passenger Cuts Are Not Stopped

   2014-02-03 – Hughes – Tourism dollars foregone with short-sighted subsidy changes / affirme qu’une réforme malavisée d’un programme de subventions met en péril les revenus du tourisme

  2014-02-03 – Letter – We’re not Canadian, but we enjoyed “Heaven” along the ACR

  2014-02-03 – Letter – ACR “Very Disappointing”

 2014-01-31 – Algoma Central Railway – A Part Of Our Heritage

  2014-01-31 – U.S. Rail Passenger Association Urges Canada To Maintain Threatened Services

 2014-01-31 – Letter – Bryan & Carol “Help Overturn Recent ACR Decision”

 2014-01-31 – Hyer calls on Conservatives to take action to safeguard cross-Canada rail service

  2014-01-30 – Letter – 6 Generations Have Used ACR – One of Canada’s Unique Experiences

2014-01-30 – Letter – CN’s Decision will Wipe Out Businesses & Properties Become Worthless

2014-01-29 – Northeast Superior Leaders Respond Swiftly to ACR Announcement

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Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains Media Release

Big Support at CAPT-organized Stakeholder Town Hall Meetings Feb 19-21, 2014

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON: February 24, 2014): This has been a very busy week for CAPTrains proceeded by the very busy previous week of the Algoma passenger train stakeholders setting up its steering committee. This week Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) and the Northern & Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) met in Sudbury with MNDM and MTO about the ONR railway situation Wednesday afternoon, then drove madly back to Sault Ste Marie to put on our town hall meeting Wednesday evening.  Early Thursday morning we drove to Wawa to first join a conference call of the Algoma passenger train stakeholders steering committee at 9:00 am, then facilitate a town hall in Wawa at 10:00 am, an interview with JJAM FM Radio at noon, and lunch in the Big Bear Hotel in Hawk Junction where we caught the train to Hearst. We pulled into Hearst just before 8:00 pm and were presenting at the Hearst town hall meeting at 8:30 pm while eating dinner. The next morning we boarded the train back to Hawk Junction, with the assumption that we would be picking up our vehicles for the drive home. But we found out that the approaching winter storm would probably close the Trans-Canada highway again so we decided to split up with guest speaker, Harry Gow (transport Action Canada) staying on the train to back to Sault Ste Marie so he could guarantee getting back to the Sault to catch his plane at 8:45 am Saturday, and some of us getting off the train at Hawk Junction with our vehicles with the assumption we may be staying in Wawa if the Trans-Canada highway closed. We were lucky and although the driving was poor we were able to go south before the snowstorm got really bad. They did close the Trans-Canada highway a few hours later and it remained closed on Saturday until the weather cleared. There have been over 20 closures this winter due to snowstorms and a number of other closures last summer due to flooding and washouts. What an ironic example of why we need trains with our northern Ontario climate and increasing weather extremes due to climate change.

The meeting with the MNDM and MTO was a good initial engagement with the Ontario government on the ONR issues and the need for restoring a functional passenger train service on the existing rail beds throughout Northern Ontario. The MTO and MNDM representatives were very receptive to the information and perspective we presented. Phil Koning co-chair of NEORN, Peter Miasek of Transport Action Ontario and Harry Gow of Transport Action Canada really made an impact with their expert knowledge of rail needs and operations.

The Sault Ste Marie town hall meeting was very well attended by stakeholders and media. There were many excellent presentations about why the Algoma passenger train is so necessary to the stakeholders in our passenger train corridor. The stories of the impacts of the loss of the train from so many of the businesses and cottagers dependent on our Algoma passenger train service were heart rending. So many of us are alarmed about our futures and just plain angry. Harry Gow, of Transport Action Canada, made a very informative presentation on the deterioration of rail opportunities in Canada. Bryan Hayes, MP for Sault Ste Marie, sent his regrets, however he did send one of his staff, Dan Butkovich, to attend. Rex Beatty, President of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, spoke at both the Sault and Wawa meetings to express his support for the efforts to save the ACR. Michael Burtch and Joanie McGuffin introduced the trailer to a film-in-production  about the Group of Seven painting sites on the ACR which will attract many new tourists to the area. And a letter of support by famous artist and environmentalist Robert Bateman was read. Canadian and American reporters were present.

Wawa: The conference call of the stakeholder committee receivedan update about the rapid progress it has made. We committed to a course of action including contracting a socio-economic study by BDO and a commitment to joint funding by the stakeholders of our courses of action. The town hall meeting was attended by a wide spectrum of Wawa regional stakeholders. Harry Gow’s presentation was again very enlightening to the stakeholders and media present. As in Sault Ste Marie there was substantial anger at the lack of consideration for the economic and social impacts of Transport Canada’s decision. Deputy Mayor Ivan Besner opened the meeting. Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, attended and had many questions on the socio-economic impacts to the Wawa region stakeholders and told us about her interventions in the House of Commons and her communication with Minister Lisa Raitt about this issue.

Hearst is always such a hospitable community. In spite of the late hour the town hall was very well attended. Most of this meeting was conducted in French, and the discussion included many examples of current needs and unrealized potentials of the Algoma passenger train. Hearst Mayor Roger Sigouin and from Constance Lake First Nation Gaetan Baillargeon, General Manager of the Constance Lake Development LP were both in attendance. Constance Lake FN was interested in train implications for their economic development interests as well as into the Ring of Fire region. Harry Gow again presented his very interesting information, this time in fluent French. We will be making his presentations in French and English available on our website soon. Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, also attended our town hall in Hearst with many more questions on the socio-economic impacts of having or not having passenger train service to the Hearst region stakeholders.

The conversations in Hearst were very diverse including discussions on the need for enhanced rail opportunities for both freight and passenger, as well as all the issues around the lack of maintenance to Highway 11. There was an unsurprised but dismal chuckle about Transport Canada’s errors in regard to a highway 583 connection to Oba.

CBC television as well as other media reporters covered our arrival in Hearst by train and the town hall meeting. Brenda Grundt of Wawa-News accompanied us from the Wawa town hall through the train travel to Hearst and returned all the way back to Sault Ste Marie by train to document the detail of the potential impacts of a cancellation of our Algoma passenger train. A number of lodge owners, trapper George Karasek, Deputy Mayor  of Wawa, Yvan Besner, and other stakeholders were on the train with the CAPT representatives.

 Busy week but we are carrying forward strongly. All the stakeholders are committed to working on this together, including financially. CAPTrains will need your support to uphold our financial commitments to this process. Please contact us at info@captrains.ca about renewing memberships and making donations (for which you can receive a receipt for income tax purposes) to this very important cause. The cottagers are committed to supporting this process and will need financial support as well. The cottagers’ representative is Dennis Henderson and his email is agawarca@gmail.com.

For further information please contact:

Linda Savory Gordon               705 943 0971   linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

Al Errington                            705 946 2010  al@wildernessisland.com

Marie Price                             705 736 2365  cora-marieprice@gmail.com

Lori Johnson (Wawa)              705 856 2244 ext 2241  ljohnson@wawa.cc

Sylvie Fontaine (Hearst)           705 372 2837 sfontaine@hearst.ca

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.

Media Contact

Dr. Linda Savory Gordon

Phone: 705-949-2301, Ext. 4320

Email: linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

Recent Media Coverage

Passenger train cancellation ‘not a responsible decision’
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=68934

CN  agrees to one month extension | Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/02/18/cn-agrees-to-one-month-extension

Despite challenges, Sault tourism chugs along
http://virtual.saultstar.com/doc/Sault-Star/outlook-2014/2014022001/18.html#18

Committe seeks 1-year extension of CN passenger rail service
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=68609

Town Hall Meeting in Wawa

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April 29th new termination date, Town Meetings/ Media Event and other updates

April 29th new termination date, Town Hall Meetings/Media Event and other updates

 

Hello CAPT supporters:

 

CN sets new ACR end date

On Friday, CN confirmed that it has extended the last day of the ACR passenger train from March 31st to April 29th, 2014.

On January 24th, due to the Federal government’s decision to stop funding the ACR passenger train under the remote passenger rail program, CN had announced that it would discontinue service as of March 31. As of Friday Feb. 14, CN announced that it will now continue the service until April 29th.

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

CAPT is very busy preparing for 3 town hall meetings this coming week: in the Sault on Wed. Feb. 19 at 7:30 pm in the Civic Centre, in Wawa on Thurs. Feb. 20 at 10:00 am in the Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre and in Hearst at 8:00 pm in the Companion Hotel.

·         This will be an opportunity for everyone to express their ideas about this devastating decision by Transport Canada, the false information on which the decision was made and what we are planning to do to have the decision reversed.

·         Harry Gow, transportation expert and founding president of Transport Action Canada, will be the guest speaker.

·         A 7 minute film trailer by White Pine Productions of a major  upcoming documentary film about the ACR and recently discovered Group of Seven painting sites will be introduced by Michael Burtch, and Joanie and Gary McGuffin.  Here is the link: http://www.whitepinepictures.com/all-titles/spirit-land-in-search-of-the-group-of-seven/

·         A special message of support for the continuation of the ACR passenger train from world renowned Canadian artist and environmentalist, Robert Bateman, will be read.

·         a donation by the Canadian Federation of Students will be announced.

·         an update about the working group of stakeholders which is being led by the City of Sault Ste. Marie.  The working group is led by Joe Fratesi, with help from Tom Dodds, ian McMillan, Angela Bruni and Dave Murphy of the SSM-EDC.

Support is building and increasing daily.  This is an opportunity for the media to hear directly about the arguments against cancellation of the passenger train and what is being done to reverse this destructive decision.

Please pass the word around about these meetings and encourage all your contacts to attend.

For more information about the town hall meetings, please contact:

Linda Savory Gordon      705 943 0971   linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

Al Errington                       705 946 2010  al@wildernessisland.com

Marie Price                         705 736 2365  cora-marieprice@gmail.com

Lori Johnson (Wawa)       705 856 2244 ext 2241  ljohnson@wawa.cc

Sylvie Fontaine (Hearst)   705 372 2837 sfontaine@hearst.ca

Cottage Owners: please contact Len Piccolo of the Agawa Region Cottagers Association which is the organization that is representing cottagers on the stakeholder working group set up by the City of Sault Ste. Marie so that ARCA will have your contact information.

His email address is: agawarca@gmail.com.

We have some excellent developments to announce

·         Cindy Lebrun of Tatnall Camp (a resort on Oba Lake) has started a Facebook group called: “Tell The Feds And CN- We Value The ACR Train!”  Cindy has also been passing around Carol Hughes’ petition.

·          Brenda Grundt of Wawa-News.com has completed a very thorough impact report.

·         Bruce Clement has posted an on-line petition as well as information about the efforts to save the ACR passenger train on his on-line site Sault On Line:  these links will take you there:

http://www.saultonline.com/community/please-help-save-our-train

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/382/671/233/all-aboard-save-our-passenger-train/.

Thank you very much Cindy, Brenda, Bruce and all of the rest of you who are working so hard to SAVE the ACR Passenger Train!!!!
Recent News Items:

Town Hall meetings| Wawa News http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19816:town-hall-meetings-all-aboard-to-save-acr-passenger-train&catid=41:news&Itemid=201
Algoma Central : la mobilisation s’organise http://www.lavoixdunord.ca/index.php/component/k2/item/428-algoma-central-la-mobilisation-s-organise

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Media Release| Communique de Press and news items

MEDIA RELEASE

 

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) announces  All Aboard! To save ACR Passenger Train. This is a series of 3 Town Hall Meetings/ Media Events with a train trip on the ACR between the Wawa and Hearst meetings.

Guest speaker, Harry Gow, transportation expert and founding president of Transport Action Canada, will be able to enlighten us about efforts elsewhere in the country to stop rail cuts.

The three meeting event will take place as follows:

  • Sault Ste. Marie Town Hall Meeting: Wed. Feb. 19 at 7:30 pm in the Civic Centre
  • Wawa Town Hall Meeting:                 Thurs. Feb. 20 at 10:00 am in the Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre
  • Hearst Town Hall Meeting:                Thurs. Feb. 20 at 8:00 pm in the Companion Hotel

Following the Sault Ste. Marie meeting, the next morning (Thursday) the guest speaker and CAPT supporters will drive to Wawa.  Following the Wawa meeting a delegation will have lunch at the Big Bear Restaurant in Hawk Junction and board the train to Hearst for the 8:00 pm meeting there. On the morning of Friday, Feb. 21 the delegation will return by train.  All are invited to join us for any of the meetings and for the train trips on the 20th and 21st.  We extend a particular invitation to the media to be present for this series of meetings and train trips.

The town hall meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to express their concerns about the devastating effects that the announced termination of the ACR passenger train service will have on the region’s tourism, on local businesses, on population retention, on the future of transportation in our region, on the environment, on people’s access to regional health care and postsecondary institutions to name only a few.

All Aboard! To save the ACR Passenger Train provides a perfect opportunity for the media to hear the full extent of the impacts that this decision will have on our region and to hear the evidence that the decision was made with clearly false information about supposed alternative transportation to the areas serviced by the ACR.

For further information please contact:

Linda Savory Gordon               705 943 0971   linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

Al Errington                             705 946 2010  al@wildernessisland.com

Marie Price                             705 736 2365  cora-marieprice@gmail.com

Lori Johnson (Wawa)              705 856 2244 ext 2241  ljohnson@wawa.cc

Sylvie Fontaine (Hearst)          705 372 2837 sfontaine@hearst.ca

 

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

 

La Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) annonce  Tous à bord!  Gardons notre train de passagers. Cet évènement comprend trois réunions publiques/évènements media et un voyage en train d’ACR de Hawk Junction à Hearst entre les réunions de Wawa et de Hearst. Le conférencier invité, Harry Gow, expert en transport et président-fondateur de Transport Action Canada nous informera des efforts d’ailleurs au Canada pour renverser les décisions de coupures des services ferroviaires.

Les réunions publiques se dérouleront comme suit :

  • Réunion Publique à Sault Ste. Marie : mercredi, le 19 février à 7 h30 au Civic Centre
  • Réunion Publique a Wawa :                 jeudi, le 20 février à 10 h le matin à Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre
  • Réunion Publique a Hearst :                jeudi, le 20 février, à 8 h du soir à l’hôtel Companion

Suite à la réunion de Sault Ste Marie, le lendemain matin (jeudi), le conférencier invité et des partisans de CAPT, conduiront à Wawa en auto.  Après cette rencontre, une délégation de CAPT se rendra au restaurant Big Bear à Hawk Junction et embarquera sur le train de passagers de l’ACR voyager à Hearst pour animer la rencontre de 20 h. Le retour en train est prévu pour vendredi le 21 février.  Tout le monde est invité nous rejoindre r à toutes les réunions et pour les voyages en train. Nous envoyons une invitation spéciale aux journalistes qui désirent assister aux réunions et/ou voyages en train.

Pendant les réunions publiques les gens auront l’occasion d’exprimer leurs inquiétudes par rapport aux effets destructifs de la fermeture du service de train de passagers de l’ACR auprès du secteur touristique local et régional, des entreprises locaux, de la stabilité de la population, de l’avenir du transport régional, de l’environnement, de l’accès aux services de sante régionale et des instituts d’éducation post-secondaire et d’autres secteurs.

Tous à bord!  Gardons notre train de passagers présente une occasion idéale aux journalistes d’en apprendre sur des effets futurs de cette décision à notre région et d’entendre les preuves qu’ a cette décision sur notre région et d’entendre les preuves que la décision a été prise basée sur de fausses informations par rapport aux moyens alternatifs de transport sur le territoire de l’ACR.

Renseignements :

Linda Savory Gordon               705 943 0971   linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

Al Errington                             705 946 2010  al@wildernessisland.com

Marie Price                             705 736 2365  cora-marieprice@gmail.com

Lori Johnson (Wawa)              705 856 2244 ext 2241  ljohnson@wawa.cc

Sylvie Fontaine (Hearst)          705 372 2837 sfontaine@hearst.ca

News Items

Ducks must be in order for meeting with minister, Wawa mayor says
Source: DONNA SCHELL, SPECIAL TO THE STAR

  WAWA–Mayor Linda Nowicki hopes to meet with the federal transportation minister within the month to ask that the government postpone its decision to cut passenger service for a minimum of one year.
  In a recent telephone interview, Nowicki said regional representatives plan to lobby against CN’s intention to cut passenger rail service, effective March 30, between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst due to the federal government’s cutting the subsidy.
    ”All of the communities along the line have come together represented at the call,” she said of a recent conference call among area players. “We used the time to set a strategy as to how we were going to present to the federal government that the subsidy must continue for at least a minimum of one year. The fact that it was so sudden has left so many people without any recourse to wind up their affairs, if necessary.”    Nowicki said there are area lodges with 400 guests slated to arrive this summer with no way to get to their destination now but to fly in, which is not feasible.
Last Wednesday’s conference call was to gather ample information geared to convince the federal government to delay the stoppage to allow time to study the effects and subsequently come up with viable alternatives or solutions.    It is not known, as of yet, exactly how many businesses or outfitters will be directly affected by passenger rail stoppage.  Nowicki said it is hoped that information can be put together over the next two or three weeks.  Data has already been provided to municipalities and area economic development corporations.
   Nowicki contacted the Wawa Economic Development Corp. for assistance in compiling information on those businesses that will be affected.
Business owners are asked to contact Maury O’Neil at the EDC to outline possible ramifications to their businesses, suppliers and customers.
    Not only will outfitters be hurt by the stoppage of rail service, but cottage owners will feel effects, the mayor said.
 ”And with the railway cancelled so quickly, cottage owners cannot get in to take what ever possessions they may have,” said Nowicki, adding there is a number of trappers who use the rail to access trap lines.   “We have a local trapper who stands to lose a supplement to his retirement income of $20,000 a year. Not only can he not trap this year, he cannot get in to get his equipment out.”
With respect to town businesses, Nowicki said she does not believe many rely directly on the rail. However, residents do rely on businesses along the rail that do trade in Wawa.
“They tell us the freight business will continue, but we understand that it has seen a rate increase already by 33%,” she said.
Nowicki said she is also concerned for Rentech, located just outside her community along the tracks.    Rentech purchased the former stranboard mill and converted it to a pellet plant, which ships its product by rail. Among the reasons for locating the plant there in the first place was its access to transportation for shipping pellets to England via a Quebec port.    “If that railway discontinued, that plant would shut down, that is a secondary concern,” she said. “They have not said they are not cancelling the freight end. It will depend on how profitable that is, as well.”
Nowicki said it’s imperative local officials have facts straight before speaking to the government.   “There is no sense meeting with the minister until we have what we need to put in front of them and say this is why you must keep this going,” she said.

News items

From the Office of Mayor Joe Fontana- cancellation of the ACR passenger train  http://gallery.mailchimp.com/68864c1f8c4dca8d75670d8c7/files/2014_03_06_Bryan_Hayes_MP_Carol_Hughes_MP_Cancellation_of_the_ACR_Passenger_Train.pdf

Letter – Tatnal Camp and cancellation of ACR Passenger Train( Sault To Hearst)

http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19806:letter-tatnall-camp-a-the-cancellation-of-acr-passenger-train-sault-to-hearst&catid=68:announcements&Itemid=102

Terry Sequin talks to Ross Capon of the National Association http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19775:terry-seguin-talks-to-ross-capon-of-the-national-association-of-railroad-passengers&catid=41:news&Itemid=72

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“All Aboard— Save ACR Passenger Train” series of town hall meet…

Hello CAPT supporters:

(1)  We are gearing up for the “All Aboard—Save ACR Passenger Train” 3 day event:  Feb. 19 to 21.

It centers on a series of town hall meetings:
Guest Speaker: 
Harry Gow, Transport Action Canada  Transportation Expert and Founding President of Transport Action Canada

Sault Ste Marie:  
Wed. Feb. 19  7:30 pm Civic Centre
Wawa:   
Thurs. Feb. 20 10:00 am
Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre
Hearst:   
Thurs. Feb. 20  8:00 pm Companion Hotel

The meetings are organized by the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) and the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN). After the meeting in the Sault on Wed. evening and Wawa on Thurs morning, CAPT/NEORN supporters will ride the train and invite media to join them from Hawk Junction to Hearst on Thursday afternoon and evening. After the meeting in Hearst the next morning they will return to Hawk Junction.
This event will provide an opportunity for people in all communities along the rail line to contribute information about the federal government’s decision to stop this remote passenger train service (based on incorrect information) and the impacts it will have.
Please pass the word around and be sure to attend one or more of these meetings.

(2)  Recent coverage of this issue:

FW: Your February issue of ON TRACK; The E-Bulletin of the Michigan Association of ……
http://gallery.mailchimp.com/68864c1f8c4dca8d75670d8c7/files/ON_TRACK_Issue_29_FINAL.pdf

 

Here is the link for article in Forbes Magazine, it is one of those sites that have an ad pop up first with a little arrow that says proceed to site.

Hughes and Mantha maintain pressure in defence of ACR passenger service / Les députés Hughes et Mantha continuent d’exercer des pressions pour sauver le service voyageurs d’ACR
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php

Carol Hughes – Emergency Debate Video & Comments of Feb. 5th (CN Rail)
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php

Hughes – Tourism dollars foregone with short-sighted subsidy changes / affirme qu’une réforme malavisée d’un
programme de subventions met en péril les revenus du tourisme
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php

Hayes advocates for funding extension for passenger trains
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=68207

CN Union caught off guard by passenger train cancellation
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=68233

Highlights of Monday’s City Council meeting
http://www.kisssoo.com/2014/02/03/highlights-of-mondays-city-council-meeting/

Ottawa’s job to fund ACR service: MILLS | Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/02/08/ottawas-job-to-fund-acr-service-mills

Terry Sequin talks to Ross Capon of the National Association of Railroads
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19775:terry-seguin-talks-to-ross-capon-of-the-national-association-of-railroad-passengers&catid=41:news&Itemid=201Below is the text of Carol Hughes’ statement in the House of Commons. Attached is a petition that she asked us to circulate.

Mrs. Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, NDP): Mr. Speaker, tourists spend billions of dollars in northern Ontario supporting thousands. Clearly, that does not matter much to the government, who cannot stop penny-pinching on the backs of small businesses that are the heart of the region’s tourism economy.

Last year, a showdown with the province threatened to cancel the season for the Chi-Cheemaun ferry and Manitoulin Island tourism.

This year, they are blaming CN after it killed a subsidy that offsets some of the losses from the Algoma Central Railway’s passenger service from Hearst to Sault Ste. Marie.

Ce n’est pas croyable, ce government qui a récemment investi pour remettre les wagons passagers en bon état force maintenant ceux-ci à dérailler.

Most tourist operations in northern Ontario are small and family-run. They work especially hard and do not deserve last minute roadblocks from the Conservatives. Just as they drumming up business for the summer, they are forced to wonder if they will have a season at all.

Why will the government not sit down with the stakeholders to find a way to ensure a long, healthy future for the ACR’s passenger service and the communities, including the town of Oba, businesses and the people who rely on it?

 Petitions English and French Please sign and pass to others to sign.  

FYI: These petitions are available under the menu at the top of the page “petitions” as well as here.

http://gallery.mailchimp.com/68864c1f8c4dca8d75670d8c7/files/Petition_ACR_fr.pdf

http://gallery.mailchimp.com/68864c1f8c4dca8d75670d8c7/files/Petition_ACR_en_1_.pdf

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Thank you to City Council & Plans for All Aboard Event

(1)    The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains wishes to thank CAO Joe Fratesi for his excellent presentation, and to Sault Ste. Marie City Councillors and Acting Mayor Terry Sheehan who yesterday voted unanimously in support of the following motion:

Resolved that the report of the Chief Administrative Office dated 2014 02 03 concerning CN Rail – Cancellation of Passenger Service from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst be received as information and that City Council request the Federal government (Transport Canada) to continue financial support for the operation of passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst for a further period of one year; that CN Rail be requested to continue to operate this service for that one year period so as to allow all stakeholders to come together and devise various options to ensure the continued viability of all aspects of the rail service well into the future. It is further recommended that all stakeholders having an interest in the future of this rail line be called to a meeting with the intent of forming a working committee similar to that which was formed in 2009 to deal with Huron Central Rail.

(2)    CAPT also thanks all of you who attended the Sault Council Meeting to show support for the motion. There was a very good turnout. So good to see so many of you.

(3)    All Aboard Event (3 Town Hall Meetings)… save the dates!! And pass the word around.

CAPT will be holding 3 town hall meetings about the ACR passenger service issue on the following dates:

  • Sault Ste Marie: Feb. 19   at 7:30 pm
  • Wawa:  Feb. 20  at 10 am
  • Hearst: Feb. 20   at 8:00 pm (those of us travelling from the Sault will drive to Wawa for that meeting and then we’ll take the train from Hawk Junction to Hearst in the afternoon  and return that way the next day).

We are in the process of planning the 3 town hall meetings and will provide you with more details about the locations soon.

We are so fortunate that Transport Action Canada has agreed to cover the costs of sending rail expert and founding president of Transport Action Canada  Harry Gow to be a guest speaker at all 3 meetings.  He is fluently bilingual so will be able to speak in French in Hearst and to the Francophone media.


Media comments regarding stoppage of passenger train service

Council Unites to lobby for rail service | Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/02/04/council-unites-to-lobby-for-rail-service

Northern jobs, tourist dollars don’t matter to Conservatives: Hughes
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=68075

hd_agawacanyon

Fighting to save Sault to Hearst rail service (updated)
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=67972

Letter – ACR “Very Disappointed”

http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19745:letter-acr-qvery-disappointingq&catid=68:announcements&Itemid=102

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Algoma Central Railroad – A part of our Culture

 City Council meets tonight .  Just to remind you to attend if possible.  

The Latest news clips

Algoma Central Railway – A Part of Our Heritage
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19739:algoma-central-railway-a-part-of-our-heritage&catid=41:news&Itemid=201

Hughes- Northern Ontario tourism in the crosshairs again /Le tourisme du Nord de L’Ontario…

‘The Chamber believes that solutions can be found’http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=68000

 

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Sault Council Meeting Monday, Feb. 3

Message:

(1)    CAPT supporters to attend Sault City Council Meeting this Monday

We are happy to tell you that the following motion will be discussed and voted on at the Sault City Council meeting this coming Monday, Feb. 3.  We invite you to be present at that meeting to show our support for the motion by clapping when it is passed—which we expect it will be. This matter will not likely be discussed until about 5:45 but as there is limited seating we suggest that if you want a seat you should be there when the meeting begins at 4:30 pm. A large number of people will likely be present to support a motion about Canada Post, so arriving early is a good idea if you wish to have a seat!  We do encourage CAPT supporters to show up to give our moral support for this resolution:

Resolved that the report of the Chief Administrative Office dated 2014 02 03
concerning CN Rail – Cancellation of Passenger Service from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst be received as information and that City Council request the Federal government (Transport Canada) to continue financial support for the operation of passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst for a further period of one year; that CN Rail be requested to continue to operate this service for that one year period so as to allow all stakeholders to come together and devise various options to ensure the continued viability of all aspects of the rail service well into the future. It is further recommended that all stakeholders having an interest in the future of this rail line be called to a meeting with the intent of forming a working committee similar to that which was formed in 2009 to deal with Huron Central Rail.

(2)    Please check out news coverage for this issue in the articles below:

Council to get on board Monday|Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/01/31/council-to-get-on-board-monday

Train Service to Hearst cancelled in 60 days | Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/01/28/train-service-to-hearst-cancelled-in-60-days

Stakeholders organizing to fight government cut to | Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/01/30/stakeholders-organizing-to-fight-government-cut-to-rail-line

Communities rally for continued train service| Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/01/29/communities-rally-for-continued-train-service

Hyer calls on Conservatives to safeguard cross-Canada rail service
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=67906

Media release and Action: Northern Transit

Greetings Northern Ontario Caucus,

Attached is a media release on behalf of the Canadian Federation 
of Students-Ontario regarding transit cuts in Northern Ontario 
between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. This is very concerning for 
Northern transportation for all, especially Collège Boréal 
students with a campus in Hearst, Ontario.

It is encouraged that all member locals write to their MPs and 
MPP's in support of the rail line and cc our partner, the 
Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains. Below are a few addresses 
of MPs in the area where the rail line is situated:

Bryan Hayes, MP, Sault Ste. Marie:
bryan.hayes@parl.gc.ca
Carol Hughes, MP, Algoma - Manitoulin - Kapuskasing:
carol.hughes@parl.gc.ca
Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transportation:
lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca

Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains:
info@captrains.ca

In solidarity,
Corey Grist
Northern Region Commissioner
Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario
2014.01.30-TrainCuts-FINAL

January 31, 2014

U.S. Rail Passenger Association Urges Canada To Maintain Threatened Services

 Washington, D.C. – Today the National Association of Railroad Passengers sent a concerned letter to the Honourable Gary Albert Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, in response to the January 24 announcement that Sault Ste. Marie-Hearst service will end March 31 and a CBC report this week that Montreal-Halifax service could end in as early as June.to the Honourable Gary Albert Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, in response to the January 24 announcement that Sault Ste. Marie-Hearst service will end March 31 and a CBC report this week that Montreal-Halifax service could end in as early as June.

 Under current plans, this passenger train will make its final run on March 31, 2014. After this date the government subsidy which had directly funded its operation will end. The decision to discontinue the train was a result of Transport Canada redefining the term “remote community” and determining that the route between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst no longer qualified as such.

According to NARP President Ross Capon, “a decision to kill this service was made absent consultation with the affected communities.  The adverse economic impact on those communities would be significant.  Many of the communities along the line do not have public roads, as well as many businesses which are significant draws for U.S. tourists.”

Likewise, passenger service between Montreal and the Maritimes – and important intercity run and the only passenger train in the Maritimes – is also in danger of being discontinued. On January 28, CBC reported that the service could be canceled unless CN finds an investor to buy a track segment in northern New Brunswick.

Capon concluded, “Eliminating passenger trains serving small communities and giving tourists and residents environmentally friendly access to Canada’s natural beauty is at odds with the achievements that have earned your nation great respect in the United States. Such good will has a real value to Canada, which should be weighed carefully when considering whether to abandon the world’s most environmentally sustainable mode of transportation.”

About the National Association of Railroad Passengers 

NARP is the only national organization in the U.S. speaking for the users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by over 22,000 individual members.

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Federal Government(Transport Canada) announces end to ACR passenger Service Mar. 31!

Hello CAPT supporters,

We have some shocking news. On Friday CN  called the Mayor of Hearst to say that the Federal government has ended the subsidy that pays for the passenger service from the Sault to Hearst.  As a result that service will end on March 31, 2014.  Also on the 24th a CN representative flew to the Sault to inform the CN employees at the ACR station and Mayor Debbie Amaroso about this news. This happened in 1995, but the communities, businesses and other users of the passenger train successfully reversed the decision. Since Friday afternoon CAPT board members and supporters  have been contacting the municipalities, First Nations, business owners, camp owners and other stakeholders to find out more about this decision and how we can have it reversed. If any of you would like to help with this effort, please reply with your name and contact information. We will keep you up to date on this urgent matter.

Save the ACR Passenger Train!!!!!

We suggest that you write a letter or email Bryan Hayes, MP (bryan.hayes@parl.gc.ca) and Carol Hughes MP (carol.hughes@parl.gc.ca), and please copy it to CAPT at info@captrains.ca or mail it to CAPT, c/o NORDIK, Algoma University, 1520 Queen St. East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A2G4.

Here is a suggested message:

Dear Bryan Hayes, MP and Carol Hughes, MP:

I am writing to discuss a most serious decision by the federal government that I would like to see reversed—namely, the cancellation of the ACR passenger train effective March 31, 2014.  We depend entirely on the train as we are in a remote area with no other transportation access.

Yours truly,

…………

cc info@captrains.ca

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CAPT Town Hall Meeting and Screening of De-Railed: the National Dream

January 19, 2014

CAPT Town Hall Meeting and Screening of De-Railed: the National Dream

The annual CAPT Town Hall Meeting and film screening of De-Railed was held in Blind River at the Alain Bray Auditorium.

Opening remarks were made by Mayor Sue Jensen and Councillor Roger Boyer of Mississaugi First Nation.

Following the film, there was a lively discussion about how to convince policy makers to restore passenger trains service from the Sault to Sudbury and North Bay with connections to southern and eastern Ontario and points beyond.

 

Fighting for passenger train services
http://gallery.mailchimp.com/68864c1f8c4dca8d75670d8c7/files/TTDPell201401.pdf

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