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Hayes advocates for funding extension for passenger trains

Thursday, February 06, 2014   by: Staff



OTTAWA - Bryan Hayes, MP for Sault Ste. Marie and area, fully supports the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s February 3 resolution, which requests that:

“The Federal Government (Ministry of Transport)… continue financial support for the operation of the passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst for a further period of one year and also requests CN Rail to continue to operate this service for the one year period of time, so as to allow all stakeholders to come together and devise various options which would ensure the continued viability of all aspects of the rail service, well into the future. 

Further, City Council requests that all stakeholders having an interest in the future of this rail line be called to a meeting with the intent of forming a working committee similar to that which was formed in 2009 to deal with Huron Central Rail.”

The intention of this request is to give all stakeholders adequate time to understand the implications of CN`s decision to cancel ACR`s passenger rail service and to seek alternatives or prepare for the loss of this service.

As previously stated, MP Hayes has participated in discussions with Debbie Amaroso, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, and Tom Dodds, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation, to ask for their assistance in pulling together data that would quantify the economic impact of a loss of this service.

He is currently working in Ottawa with the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, in support of this resolution. 

"I had raised my initial concerns with department officials when I became aware of CN`s intent. Since then, I have been communicating stakeholder concerns on an on-going basis to Minister Raitt as I continue to advocate for a one year funding extension for the Algoma Central Railway passenger rail service.”

The Government of Canada has no direct role in operating the Algoma Passenger Rail Service.

CN is a private company that makes its own decisions concerning its operations and which services and routes are offered to its customers.

The decision to terminate the Algoma Central passenger rail service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst is a business decision which was made by CN Rail, the owner of the Algoma Central Railway.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Mr. Poster 2/6/2014 11:00:11 AM Report

Brian...better late than never !!!
KFM 2/6/2014 11:04:45 AM Report

Sure he has! Why didn't he do it before all of this crap hit the fan? I guess he can see his limited time in office looming and he his trying to back track now. To little to late Brian! Thank goodness you will be gone soon!
right wing 2/6/2014 11:10:46 AM Report

I never thought it was possible for some folks to so clueless about private enterprise and government programs but some of the posters on this site are simply living proof.
flyhawk25 2/6/2014 11:14:59 AM Report

rw...atta boy - all hail Harper and his guy Bryan.
Tell those lodge owners again about 'free' enterprise.
port 2/6/2014 11:15:36 AM Report

Unfortunately the north is not a high priority for either the Federal or Provincial governments. We send out our taxes to both and get very little back. This is all about numbers (money). Their priorities demand they use it in Southern Ontario. Maybe it is time that the north consider being it's own territory/province. It is working for Nunavut! Take charge of our own destiny if we really truly believe in our region and want it to survive. History has shown that Ottawa and Toronto does not care!
B Boy 2/6/2014 11:27:40 AM Report

@port - I've said before that Northern Ontario makes up a tiny 5% of the entire provincial population. Of that 5% even a smaller amount are subject to taxation. That little bit of revenue pays for nothing down south. In fact we can't even pay for ourselves here. We rely on the tax revenue from the south to make our programs work. More southern dollars are spent here than northern dollars spent down there.

Politicians are playing with words and grandstanding to make themselves seem busier and more concerned than they actually are.

The mining sector is too volatile to be rely on. A separate northern ontario province would be all but entirely dependent on federal handouts like equalization payments.

theprotector 2/6/2014 11:50:12 AM Report

hey do something about all the federal jobs being transferred out of the sault and then many will have money to ride the damn train!
Wisenheimer 2/6/2014 12:15:40 PM Report

Saultites .. Pray after me ... "thank you Lord for Essar and Tenaris, thank you God for these last two enterprises that continiue to support our fair city. Please disregard the anti oil and gas crowd, that don't understand how much business these businesses do in the oil patch. Please help our city from becoming the largest reservation in Canada, after the province of Quebec. Amen".
Nunavut 2/6/2014 12:20:55 PM Report

Well Bboy if you use a dividing line of ParrySound and Algonquin park /Mattawa north us ignored northern taxpayers represent closer to 9% of population and when you factor in the industrial taxpayers we send a lot of money down there to be just the cottage playground for them. When ThunderBay relates more to Manitoba than Ontario you know you have a problem. When one northern riding Algoma is bigger than four Prince Edward Islands , you have a problem. So if they can do it and Nunavut can do it there is no reason we couldn't . Imagine having our own energy policy re electricity , to bring mining back to the forefront, imagine our own industry policy and MNR policy and MTO policy. Would we be a have not province for a short while (just like Ontario now is) yes...but not for long !
HowAbooutSomeLogic 2/6/2014 12:59:47 PM Report

This Hayes guy is hilarious! He sounds like Obama the way he seems to find out about things after everyone else and, of course, is committed to finding a solution. Not surprising.

What is surprising are those suggesting Northern Ontario should take one out of Nunavut's playbook and 'go it ourselves'. I could be wrong but my understanding is Nunavut gets ~$1B a yr to 'go it themselves' and would not survive without outside funds.

...which is not to say we couldn't do it but I don't think they are the best example of an independent territory. Besides, Saultites seem to enjoy getting raped for services they could provide themselves for free.
HowAbooutSomeLogic 2/6/2014 1:02:40 PM Report

'heimer, I say we take a few tons of that nuclear waste they're having a hard time finding a place to store (stay with me here...), take those trucks they use to water flowers and what not in the summer and load them up with the waste and spray it around town AND THEN every Saultite - man, woman and child - would be employed for generations to come!

...and then we could thank the Lord for full employment!
GrampaF 2/6/2014 1:38:32 PM Report

This message is for - Coalition for the Algoma Passenger Trains & Bryan Hayes. Many of the readers are not aware of the fares that CN is charging that is driving people away from using the passenger train service. For a family of 2 adults and 3 children to go from Searchmount northerly 34 miles to Mekatina return puchasing the tickets in Searchmount it will cost that family $614 You can do all you want to try and save passenger train services in the Ontario but you won't get people to purchase tickets at that price. It is just out of reach and unrealistic to believe that a 68 mile train ride is worth $614. If our Government is going to hand out money they need to deal with the cost of the passenger fares charged.
port 2/6/2014 3:28:23 PM Report

If the current fare is considered too high for family vacation travel, and the service is loosing money with the fare revenue and the federal subsidy factored in, what case can be made to retain the service? Is it fair to ask the public to subsidize family vacation travel? Not judging, just posing the question.
KFM 2/6/2014 4:43:14 PM Report

A fair question port, but at the same time there will be a large loss of revinue in the city as well as tax moneys for the levels of government because the outfitters that use this service as thier only means of transportation, no roads available, will lose the customer base they have and thus these tourist dollars will be spent else were. So yes it is money for people with camps, who by the way also pay taxes, but more importantly it is spent to maintane these outfitters that bring in US tourists. Double edge sword, and it should be saved!
KFM 2/6/2014 4:44:52 PM Report

Anyone else notice how that picture of Bryan seems to ooze grease?
OrlandoFlorida 2/6/2014 5:32:31 PM Report

But He's "Proud to Serve" at least thats what his sign says on the city buses. He fails to mention who he serves, maybe because its HARPER not Sault Ste Marie.
justsomeguy 2/6/2014 6:30:41 PM Report

OrlandoFLorida - do you live in Sault Ste. Marie?
Lone24 2/6/2014 7:35:56 PM Report

LuluBird 2/6/2014 7:47:51 PM Report

The high fares are another tactic of CN to drive ridership down thus justifying cutting the service. I have a family member who is impacted by the cutting of the passenger train. CN is full of tricks and deceptions and will play dirty right to the end.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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