A new lobby group has formed called All Aboard Northern Ontario with the goal of restoring the Northlander. The additional goal is to improve other rail and intercity bus services across Northeastern Ontario. In 2012 the Liberals cancelled the Northlander while Dalton McGuinty was Premier. Eric Boutilier, founder of the lobby group, says the extra buses the Liberals promised at the time to replace passenger train service didn’t work because over time this service was also reduced. Boutilier says the loss and reduction of northern transportation services are leaving medical patients, seniors and students more isolated. Boutilier says this is a madness that has to stop. He says polite meetings with the politicians and bureaucrats who cancelled the Northlander have produced nothing. Boutilier says with a provincial election next June, now is the time to push to restore the Northlander. The lobby group has documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that question the wisdom of the Liberals abandoning passenger train service. The group will release a data-based proposal in a few weeks on how the Northlander can be resurrected. In the meantime the lobby group wants northerners to share with others how cancelling the Northlander has personally affected them. The group has also created a website at https://allaboardnorthernontario.com/ the public can visit.
(Written By: Rocco Frangione)