Thank you to all of the enthusiastic passenger train supporters who attended the town hall meeting on Nov. 1. The expanded Russ Ramsay Room was so jam-packed with people that we ran out of chairs leaving many people standing.
Thank you to the Healing Lodge Singers who inspired us with their drumming and singing, including a song about the bear spirit. Chi miigwetch.
And thank you to Dawne Cunningham for being a great MC.
Chief Jason Gauthier and Al Errington provided an update on their recent meetings in Ottawa with Transport Canada and Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Development Canada (INAC). They announced that according to a media story, MP Terry Sheehan said that:“the Missinabie Cree First Nation will receive almost $200,000 in support of getting the passenger rail service back up and running….The funding is intended to go toward the creation of a business plan for the Bear Train and to assist in ongoing negotiations with CN, which owns the line and have final say over who operates the service on it. …The funding will allow the First Nation… to position themselves for both public and private sector financing.” (Sootoday). MP Carol Hughes, sent a statement in which she outlined the ways in which she has been put our case forward to the Federal Government.
Those present were encouraged to complete the complaint forms and return them to Missanabie Cree First Nation office at 559 Queen St. E., Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2A3 or to the Sault Model Railroad Club at 625 Trunk Road, Sault Ste Marie, ON P6A 3T1 which is open Thursday 1-4pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to many residents from the remote communities along the rail corridor, there were business owners from as far away as Oba Lake and many trappers and representatives from the Ontario Fur Managers Federation.
For more information about the Town Hall Meeting, here is some media coverage:
Strength in Numbers. Bring Back Our Train! By Lynne Brown - November 3, 2016 Saultonline.com.
Mothballed 16 months ago, the passenger train gets some funding. Sort of. Sootoday.com Kenneth Armstrong Nov 1, 2016
- Ont. government multi-modal transportation strategy public info session
To voice your support for a restoration of passenger train service in Northern Ontario be sure to attend:
Ont. Government Northern Ontario Multi-modal Transportation Strategy Public Information Session in Sault Ste. Marie on November 16at the Bushplane Heritage Centre 50 Pim Street 4-8 p.m.
https://nomts.ca/how-can-i-get-involved/#PICs Join others from the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Train (CAPT) and the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) who have been trying to have the Ontario government catch up to all other developed countries who see the urgent need for passenger rail for economic, social and environmental reasons.
Photographer Lynne Brown