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Group Photo after a meeting.
CAPT Board members and volunteers celebrate after Sault Ste Marie City Council unanimously passed the resolution in support of the Bear Train.


Mover Councillor L. Vezeau-Allen
Seconder Councillor M. Scott


Whereas the Algoma Central Railway passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst was discontinued in 2014 when the federal government determined it no longer qualified under the Remote Passenger Rail Program;

Whereas this essential service supported significant economic, employment and tax generation; and

Whereas as a result of the cessation of this service eight years ago (in July 2015), access has been denied to, and caused substantial hardships for, many First Nations people, municipalities, businesses, trappers, forestry workers, miners, and residents; and,

Whereas passenger train service is necessary for First Nations people to access remote regions of their traditional territories, including spiritually significant locations; and

Whereas Missanabie Cree First Nation, under the leadership of Chief Jason Gauthier, has worked diligently to ensure the passenger train service known as the Bear Train along the ACR line will be reinstated, and this will demonstrate efforts towards reconciliation and provide employment and economic opportunities for Indigenous people and others; and

Whereas Mask-wa Transportation Association Inc., a provincial corporation initiated by Missanabie Cree First Nation has prepared a comprehensive business case to take to funders, which will soon be updated with current financial data; and

Whereas 75% of properties in proximity to the rail line are inaccessible except by passenger train service, and the passenger train has been the only safe, legal, all-season, affordable access into the Algoma wilderness rail corridor for over 108 years; and

Whereas a study completed in 2014 by BDO Canada concluded that the Algoma passenger train is in the public interest in that it supported:
• $38-$48 million in annual economic impact
• 170-220 jobs
• $5.12-$6.45 million in annual tax generation

Now Therefore Be It Resolved that Sault Ste. Marie City Council supports the Missanabie Cree First Nation and the Mask-wa Transportation Association Inc. in the development of the Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban (the Bear Train) and are June 19, 2023 Council Agenda Page 10 of 529 committed to working closely with Missanabie Cree First Nation on this initiative, a much-needed transportation alternative for Sault Ste. Marie, a major northern transportation hub; and

Further Be It Resolved that City Council recognizes that Sault Ste. Marie is missing out on significant tourism and related business opportunities without a passenger train service along the ACR line and that major efforts will need to
be made by all levels of government to bring back and enhance this major tourist attraction; and

Further Be It Resolved that Sault Ste. Marie City Council will approach the Governments of Canada and Ontario to request subsidization of the ongoing operation of the Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban (Bear Train); and

Further Be It Resolved that Sault Ste. Marie City Council supports Mask-wa Transportation Association Inc.’s request that both the federal and provincial governments formally recognize the passenger rail service and the rail access corridor it serves as a unique and valuable cultural, historic, recreational, environmental and economic asset; and

Further Be It Resolved that a copy of this resolution motion be distributed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Transport Omar Alghaba, Minister of Indigenous Services Patti Hajdu, Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg
Rickford, MP Terry Sheehan, MP Carole Hughes, MPP Ross Romano, and MPP Michael Mantha

Visit to read CAPT’S April minutes and the Home Page for OTHER NEW information.

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