To those who provided their email addresses during the passenger rail survey in June:
NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO RAIL NETWORK UPDATE ON RETURN OF PASSENGER RAIL & THE COCHRANE POLAR BEAR HABITAT
With the plan for the return of passenger rail service so near it is sad to hear of the possible demise of Cochrane’s tourism jewel! The Polar Bear Habitat announcement last week took the public (and the Board of Directors) completely by surprise, especially when within weeks their consultant will be delivering the final report on their long-term action plan to move forward.
NEORN has been in touch with David MacLachlan (RTO13 / Destination Northern Ontario) and he hopes to have a representative at the public meeting Nov. 20th. Timmins is hosting the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit next week while all this is going on!
I will attend the Polar Bear Habitat Board meeting on Sunday November 17 to offer my help to make their case to the public to find some way to have the municipality continue financial support until a complete review of public comments and stakeholder involvement takes place. Marketing the passenger train return and the tourism opportunity is a potential source of funds. After all it was the demise of the train service in 2012 that likely caused the largest portion of attendance downturn according to the Cochrane CAO and the report.
Can and will you help in some way? At least the Cochrane Council could delay until Ontario Northland’s report is out and we all have a better idea of timing of the return of the passenger train. The Polar Bear Habitat is a key tourism economic generator for the town – a gem with great potential that we cannot afford to lose. And the train needs the Polar Bear Habitat as a ridership attraction just as much! I have also written to Corina Moore (President and CEO Ontario Northland) and Vic Fedeli (MPP) for their support – however they can.
I have attached several items for your use – these are going to my contacts and am asking that they be forwarded as well. The support letters to PBH are essential.
Thanks for listening once again. I promised my grandsons a ride on the train to see the polar bears – 2 super events – and I don’t want to disappoint them!
Co-Chair Northeastern Ontario Rail Network.