CAPT sends its congratulations to Chief Jason Gauthier and Missanabie Cree First Nation for approval for ROC
CAPT sends a huge congratulations to Chief Jason Gauthier and Missanabie Cree First Nation (MCFN) for successfully being approved for their Rail Operating Certificate (ROC). They are the very first First Nation in Ontario to receive a Rail Operating Certificate. Thank you, Chief Gauthier, for all of the hard work that you did to make this happen. This is an important step that was required for MCFN to be able to run the Bear Train between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. Now that MCFN has provided Transport Canada with a fully completed business plan and their ROC application has been approved, we urge Transport Canada to provide the required operating funding. Considering that the annual $2 million funding would result in over $48 million in regional economic benefits and $6 million in tax revenue, TC will surely see that this passenger train service has to be funded.
MEDIA RELEASE JUNE 11, 2018 PASSENGER RAIL SUMMIT VIDEOS AVAILABLE ONLINE – . . . . . . . SOON PASSENGER TRAINS ON TRACK?
More than 120 individuals from all walks of life attended the recent Northeastern Ontario Passenger Rail Summit in Sault Ste. Marie sponsored by NEORN (Northeastern Ontario Rail Network), CAPT (Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains) and CPMRT (Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel). The Summit was, from all media indications, declared a huge success. The Summit was held to inform the public of the importance of rail passenger services andintroduce the ‘Loop’ concept, that being all the short line railways in the northeast, ONR (Ontario Northland Railway), ACR (Algoma Central Railway div. Canadian National), OVR (Ottawa Valley Railway), HCR (Huron Central Railway) and CNR (Canadian National Railway from North Bay to Toronto) which today form a continuous rail network moving freight. This same rail infrastructure could be utilized to enhance tourism and provide needed passenger services for all communities and First Nations along these lines.
Noted speakers from the rail industry, First Nations, Senior and Disability groups, Politicians, Student, Teacher and Environment Associations and various transportation specialists extolled the virtues of rail passenger services. The videotapes of these presentations can now be viewed at www.neorn.ca. Something as important as the social and economic reasons why the return of passenger rail in northeastern Ontario is needed can now be viewed by everyone – including those who could not attend the Sault Ste. Marie Summit due to the distanced to travel.
As a follow-up to the Sault Ste. Marie gathering for those who couldn’t attend, CAPT, NEORN and CPMRT have conducted RALLY FOR RAIL Town Hall meetings throughout the northeast in communities along the highway 11 corridor from the Muskoka region to Cochrane, along Highway 17E including Blind River and Sudbury and north of Sault Ste. Marie including Wawa, Dubreuilville, Hearst and Searchmont. At one small community there were 114 people present – underscoring the desire to hear about the possibility of passenger trains returning to the north. These pre-election public meetings were to help participants make informed decisions in the provincial election.
Our new government made promises during the campaign to restore passenger train service in northeastern Ontario. NEORN and its sister committees intend to make sure they come good on these promises with constant reminders, meetings and town hall gatherings. Passenger trains are efficient, effective, accessible, affordable, safe, reliable and environmentally responsible transportation all year round. The provincial government must act promptly now to address these needs of the northeast, NOW, FOR THE PEOPLE!
For Information and to view videos of the rail summit, visit NEORN at: www.neorn.ca.
‘MOVE PEOPLE, NOT JUST FREIGHT ON EXISTING TRACKS’
NEORN is delighted to report that the first NEORN Passenger Rail Summit was a huge success. It was well attended with over 120 people, 24 speakers and was covered by all of the local media (see their coverage in the links listed below). Presentations were made by Chief Paul Syrette-Garden River FN & Chief Jason Gauthier – Missanabie Cree FN. Present were mayors (Mayor Roger Sigouin – Hearst, Mayor Sue Jensen – Blind River, Mayor Lynn Watson –Macdonald, Meredith & Aberdeen Additional Township (Echo Bay) and Mayor Christian Provenzano – Sault Ste. Marie). Also in attendance were government officials from Ministry of Northern Development & Mines and senior leaders of UNIFOR.
A few of the
Speakers for the Rail Passenger Summit!
Mayor Provenzano posted this comment on Face Book later in the day:
“I want to thank the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network – NEORN for organizing a Passenger Rail Summit held today in Sault Ste. Marie. It was a well attended event, and I was grateful for the opportunity to speak. Transportation is fundamental to the health and sustainability of Northern Ontario. Transit options such as passenger rail service provide access to towns and cities located throughout the region, contributing to an improved quality of life for citizens and facilitating the movement of visitors to our region.
A transit system connecting Northern Ontario needs to be in place, and NEORN’s proposed North Eastern Ontario Rail Loop could address this situation by providing access to communities, First Nations, businesses and the people of Northeastern Ontario to the rest of Canada.
The following politicians attended. (Their answers to NEORN’s questions will be posted on the websites):
Michael Mantha MPP Algoma –Manitoulin (NDP)
John Vanthof MPP Timiskaming-Cochrane (NDP)
Ross Romano MPP Sault Ste. Marie (PC)
Kara Flannigan, Green Party Candidate in the upcoming provincial election.
Written submissions were also provided by:
MP(NDP), Charlie Angus, MP(NDP)
a video clip by Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner
A video of much of the summit will soon be posted on the NEORN, CAPT and CPMRT websites.
A huge expression of gratitude goes out to all of the volunteers, sponsors and contributors. They will be listed very soon on our websites. Building on the momentum at the summit, prior to the provincial election, we will be holding meetings in many of the communities along the NEORN loop. The dates will be announced soon. Please stay posted.
NEORN, CAPT and CPMRT are non-partisan. We want all politicians and political parties to support the NE Ontario Passenger Rail Loop because of the socio-economic and employment values it will support.
If anyone knows of a political event in the rail loop please let us know and we will pass the word. That way our followers might choose to attend those events to present our urgent need for restored passenger train service.