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Meeting for those impacted by loss of ACR passenger service

Tuesday, March 18, 2014   by: Staff



People impacted by the announced cancellation of Algoma Central Railway (ACR) passenger service are invited to a meeting Wednesday, March 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation office on the first level of the Civic Centre.

The workshop will focus on a recent stakeholder survey, which is available online at

“If anyone has questions or concerns regarding the survey, or would rather complete the survey in-person or in hard copy form, we welcome them to join us at the workshop,” said Tom Dodds, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation and a member of the ACR Passenger Service Working Group. “We’re using the survey to develop a business case, and it’s important that stakeholders take part in the exercise”

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.

With the Sault-to-Hearst rail link set to cease operating on April 29, the group is working to preserve this crucial transportation infrastructure by keeping the run operating in the short-term while a longer-term solution is found.

The Working Group recently retained the services of BDO Canada LLP, one of the country’s largest accounting and advisory firms.

Its Sault Ste. Marie branch is helping to develop an economic impact assessment of the ACR passenger rail line, which will be used to make the case to the Federal Government that the link is worth investing in.

A stakeholder survey, which will help pinpoint the employment and other financial benefits of the run, will be used to support the assessment. To date, nearly 200 people have completed the survey.

“We’re very happy with the uptake so far, and we encourage stakeholders who haven’t completed the survey to do so by Sunday, March 23,” said Dodds. “The survey results will play a key role in BDO’s economic impact assessment, so the more stakeholders who provide input, the better.”


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CB4 3/19/2014 1:15:03 AM Report

How much money does it lose, are my tax dollars being wasted on this ? "was"
Ron58 3/19/2014 10:47:14 AM Report

I think one has to ask themselves how much money in tax dollars are we losing by NOT continuing the rail service to Hearst. I believe its the economic loss to the region ( the Sault, the cottagers the tourist lodges, the tenters, fishermen, the ice climbers and artists, the ordinary folks who want to see the ACR wilderness all the way from the Sault to Hearst and return.They spend their money in Hearst for accomodations and food. The railway does nothing to promote the ridership nor do they maintain good services on the train.And there is a reason why they don't. Their fares are rediculously structured which discourages the continuance of train travel. The whole system that they operate needs to be revamped to encourage the return of the public to the railway ridership to what it was not that many years ago.
There needs to be a shake up in the management end of things. Getting competent people to run and promote this train service. To do what they are paid to do. And do it well!!!
The ACR passenger service to Hearst is known around the world. Has been traveled by people from the far east, Africa,Japan,India etc etc.
Maybe someone out there can confirm what I am about to say. That is that CN HAS a LEGAL obligation to operate this service. My understanding is the city of Sault Ste. Marie hired a legal firm to look into this and were told by the law firm that the city would win the case but not before CN bankrupted the city in the courts fighting it.They have very very deep pockets!
And if this project is to truly work to maintain this service, then the local businesses in the Sault need to all get on board and participate in being proactive. Not just a few doing all the Public Relations with the tourists/customers that visit this beautiful city.
The Sault has sooo much to offer to the tourists and we all need to participate and do our part to make tourism work. If we could, then maybe our governments would be a little more willing to spend OUR hard earned tax dollars in THIS country on services that will promote our local economies and bring prosperity back into this city and THIS country, instead of giving it away to nations that still hates us after receiving your tax dollars.I really believe if we could work together then we will all benefit from the fruits of our labor to fight for what WILL work if we put our hearts into it collectively.
Everybody loses until we wake up and decide to turn it all around.
Just to quote from a famous movie, Field of Dreams..." Build It, And They Will Come" !!
Need I say anymore?
Ski-Dude 3/19/2014 11:05:52 AM Report

Well said Ron58!

To all those complaining about their tax dollars going somewhere it shouldn' you think all your tax dollars provide a return? Think again. You'd choose to put the money into programs and things you use and or enjoy? Maybe a little one sided? Maybe put the shoe on the other foot? Since you're economists and more intelligent than those who want to keep subsidizing the service, maybe you can provide an exemplary report to show how devastating subsidizing would be for the taxpayers?

I for one am looking forward to the BDO report!
bocca1 3/19/2014 11:13:52 AM Report

It must be remembered that the Harper government has taken the environmental rules and regulations and thrown them out the window. Many protected areas are now at risk. Mining companies that come in can use lakes etc. as tailing ponds and will. That serves the big corporations well but no one else. This government is all about big business at any cost. If regular people have access to remote areas to see the impending and inevitable devastation it will cause unwanted attention. It's easier to keep everyone away....out of sight, out of mind. Both levels of government think all life stops at Sudbury.
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