Ontario Northland transfer good sign for travellers in Northern Ontario

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November 12, 2019 – 12:00 AM

November 12, 2019

TORONTO– Steps toward a transfer of ministerial oversight of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to the Ministry of Transportation is a positive change for residents in Northern Ontario, but the key component of Northlander rail line service remains missing.

“All residents of Ontario deserve access to a safe and reliable transportation network, that must include the North,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor members in the transportation sector have called not only for this transfer, but also for the return of the Northlander rail service.” 

Following the cancellation of the Northlander rail service between Toronto and Cochrane six years ago, Unifor members have advocated for its return, to keep Ontario Northland in public hands, and for today’s transfer in order to increase collaboration with Metrolinx (Go Transit) and to connect more communities.

The union collected thousands of names and signatures from people demanding these changes, and a return of affordable passenger rail service to their communities.    

Today’s announcement, to explore transferring the Crown corporation, comes just one day after Ontario Northland reported the cancellation of bus service linking Manitoulin Island and Sudbury, remained silent on the return of the Northlander rail service. 

“A timely transfer of Ontario Northland will be step one for Doug Ford, but he’s still short of fulfilling his campaign promise to Northerners. The Premier ran on a pledge to bring back the Northlander train and increase service, and we’re still waiting to see it coming down the tracks,” continued Dias.

For further information, contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.