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Use the ACR? Read this

Tuesday, March 11, 2014   by: Staff



Impacted by the cancellation of ACR passenger rail? Tell us how.

The Working Group that is attempting to keep the Algoma Central Railway passenger line in operation wants to hear from people who will be affected by the announced cancellation.

With the final run of the Sault-to-Hearst link set for April 29, BDO Canada LLP is helping to draft an economic impact assessment of the service. A stakeholder survey will assist in these efforts.

“We want to know, specifically, how individuals and businesses will be impacted by the cancellation of this critical transportation infrastructure,” said Joe Fratesi, Chair of the ACR Passenger Service Working Group, which is vying to secure a one-year extension so stakeholders can come together and look at options that will keep the rail service viable well into the future.

“We want to hear from all stakeholders – whether you’re a tourism lodge operator, tourist outfitter or other business owner, or if you own a cottage or parcel of land along the line, or if you’re someone who uses the ACR for recreational purposes.”

Given the time-sensitive nature of this initiative, responses are due on Sunday, March 23. The results of the survey will be used by BDO in its upcoming economic impact assessment.

Meanwhile, the ACR Passenger Service Working Group also penned a letter recently to the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, requesting that she meet with representatives from the group.

“Once we have the economic impact assessment from BDO, we want to bring those findings directly to the Minister,” said Fratesi, who’s also Chief Administrative Office for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

“We know that cancelling the ACR passenger line will have a severe impact on our region. Having an economic impact assessment from one of the country’s leading accounting and advisory firms will allow us to focus in on the specific impact, which will help us make our business case to the Government of Canada and help us secure the one-year extension for ACR passenger rail service.”

The ACR Passenger Service Working Group represents a larger committee of concerned stakeholders, including municipalities, First Nations, tourism lodge operators and land owners along the line.

More information on the committee, including the recent letter to the Transport Minister and a link to the stakeholder survey, is available at


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honda1984 3/11/2014 2:36:02 PM Report

I invested in a cabin many yrs ago with the train as my way of reaching it .now I wont be able to acess it due to no train to get me there.also how about the land that the acr got to put rail service in for the people will it be given back to the people of ontario
Nunavut 3/11/2014 2:57:59 PM Report

Honda ...the ACR land along the rail line (numerous townships) was sold a couple of decades ago and now the various townships are owned by different landowners depending where the cabin is located. Whoever you pay your cabin land lease to is who you would call to fgiure out who owns the township land you are in.
MaximusPrime 3/11/2014 4:02:44 PM Report

Wrong Nunavut! I challenge you to find a "land title" for the bed of a railway. There is no land title to railway land because it falls under the railway act. Ownership of the railway bed was given to them by the crown (in many instances over 100 years ago). For that reason I believe they do have a duty to the citizens of Canada and it is our government's duty to hold the railway's hands to the fire. Of course, the railway has lobbyists and other government influence which will ensure that they are protected at the expense of the citizens.
Longlake 3/11/2014 9:51:42 PM Report

I know that the ACR was given huge land grants many years ago to build the railway. They were supposed to build the railway to Hudson Bay, but didn't go past Hearst.
They forfeited much of that land back to the Crown, but until about 1996 they still owned about 830,000 acres and were the largest private landowner in Ontario.
The ACR sold most of that land to U.S. purchasers, and pocketed the proceeds from that sale.
I would like to see what the original contract between the railway and the Crown said about guaranteeing the future operation of the railway.
Nunavut 3/12/2014 7:49:23 AM Report

Correct Longlake.....meanwhile Maximus is off on a tangent, the original poster was aludding to land his cabin was on (and his cabin is not on the tracks Maximus!)
rotciv 3/13/2014 11:09:02 AM Report

Honda 1984 21 patent townships in the Wawa area owned by the ACR have been sold to a logging company in care of a company from Singapore . Also did you know the municipality of Wawa is in the process of developing a nuclear dump site in their area
rotciv 3/13/2014 11:12:28 AM Report

the ACR still owns rights to about 25 townships in the Algoma area even north of Ranger Lake and this is no BS
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