Federal Government Unwilling to Invest in Passenger Rail Service in Northern Ontario
The federal government isn’t willing to invest in passenger rail service that would run from Sault St. Marie to Hearst. The North Eastern Ontario Rail Network says this is a clear indication of inequality between urban and remote transportation service in Canada. Northern Ontario has a network of approximately 6,000 kilometres of rail linking municipalities and First Nations where the service could be reinstated.
The North Eastern Ontario Rail Network says despite various municipalities and First Nations working to develop a not-for-profit passenger rail service, the government is refusing to fund it. Without any prior consultation the government eliminated the $2.2-million in funding towards the Algoma Central once in 2014 and now again in 2016.
The NEORN says transportation of minerals by rail is up to seven times more fuel efficient per ton than by transport truck. Not preserving the Algoma Central rail will result in lost opportunities in both economic and environmentally friendly modes of transportation.