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Ontario Northland Hospital Route Additions Not Impressing Bourgouin

A recent addition to Northlander bus service will not be felt by those living north of Timmins.

Ontario Northland is making things simpler for patients travelling to get to the hospital, but not for anyone living along the Highway 11 corridor above Timmins says Mushkegowuk-James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin.

The decision to add six hospital stops to its routes; Sudbury, North Bay, Sault, Temiskaming, Englehart and Timmins and District Hospital, was done due to an apparent need for service in the north east says Director of Passenger Operations Tracy Macphee.

Macphee says the decision will better connect communities within the north, and also get patients to and from visits, back to their homes in a single day.

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Bourgouin meanwhile, says these changes in service are not better connecting communities like Kapuskasing and Hearst.

“We’re looking at the different options, because we have been receiving alot of complaints; as you know they changed their scheduling, they changed their routes, which has affected alot of our constituency, and we are getting alot of complaints of missed connections. One individual took 26 hours to get back from Barrie.”

Bourgouin says the help is there for people going down south, but not coming back.

“Right now, it’s stopping in Timmins and other hospitals, so that helps alot of people going down south or to Sudbury, but the people that are using the bus to go to Timmins Hospital, why aren’t they accommodated?”

He also says the changes will take time, but he will keep people within his riding up to speed on where they stand.

With the unveiling this past week of his Constituency Office, Bourgouin also says he welcomes local residents to come visit and speak in person.

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