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Raitt says ACR needs private-sector solution

Monday, April 14, 2014   by: Kenneth Armstrong

The Government of Canada is extending its $2.2-Million subsidy to CN Rail, ensuring the operation of the Algoma Central Railway for one more year.

Federal Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt made the announcement Monday morning at the Civic Centre, surrounded by local supporters of the line, many of whom own businesses or camps along the route.

“Everybody in this room knows the story of the funding of the Algoma Central Railway far better than a lot of us do in Ottawa,” said Raitt.

Raitt said Algoma-Manitoulin MP Carol Hughes and Sault Ste. Marie MP Bryan Hayes pointed out how many small businesses there are along the line, and their need for at least a year to figure out how to move their goods, services and people.

Raitt encouraged local stakeholders to work with CN and work amongst themselves to create a private-sector solution to ensure the long-term viability of the line.

“This is now your time for the local stakeholders to get together, and figure out those long term solutions,” said Raitt.

Mayor Debbie Amaroso agreed.

“This is now our time to begin to work together to make sure we can continue to make sure that the needs of this region are very clear to CN, that we don’t come just with hat in hand, that we come with solutions,” said Amaroso.

(PHOTO: Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt speaks to media at the Civic Centre April 14, 2014. SooToday.com/Kenneth Armstrong)

Local2 also has coverage of Raitt's visit to the Civic Centre, and the archived livestream of the minister's announcement is available here.

Watch for more on this story today from both SooToday.com and Local2.

Additional SooToday.com coverage of this story

Committee seeks 1-year extension of CN passenger rail service
CN union caught off guard by passenger train cancellation
Hayes advocates for funding extension for passenger trains
Fighting to save Sault to Hearst rail service
Maintain passenger rail service, says US organization
'It was CN's choice' to cancel passenger trains, says Hayes
CN and Feds knew about rail funding cuts since November
Cuts to passenger rail appalling, says reader
Feds cut funding. Rail service from Sault to Hearst cancelled
Comments
14
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Sam C 4/14/2014 2:23:31 PM Report

There are some services that just won't turn a profit, services that the government should either in subsidize or run entirely. Transportation to remote regions is top of that list. Restore the ONR, and have it run the Sault-Hearst service and the James Bay Coast service.
Ski-Dude 4/14/2014 3:05:05 PM Report

What exactly is Raitts' job?

“Everybody in this room knows the story of the funding of the Algoma Central Railway far better than a lot of us do in Ottawa,” said Raitt.

Was she trying to be funny?
learningaswego 4/14/2014 3:06:52 PM Report

I get the jist of that view, but, at some point, doesn't "at what cost" become a factor?

Also, does "purpose" become a factor? If the main use is to ferry people to their fishing camp, is that - really - a rationale for taxpayer funding, and to the potentially exorbitant degree it may cost?

Let's say the real, true cost of subsidy is $5000 per passenger trip.
Should taxpayers - really - be tapped to pay that for a person to go fishing?
kodak11 4/14/2014 3:08:25 PM Report

oh great more tax dollars going to help just a few next the government will be paying to improve the whittman dam road and other remote roads.
soowat 4/14/2014 3:24:52 PM Report

From Sootoday news article dated April 11th. "An economic impact study prepared by BDO Canada highlighting the importance of Sault to Hearst passenger rail service has been given to Transport Canada before the final report is released later this month."

This suggests that this rail link serves more than just a few camp owners
I'm In 4/14/2014 3:58:02 PM Report

learningaswego: we as taxpayers pay for everything else even for CN to get richer, along with all other big business, so why would they use their own money to operate the line when they get hand outs. Keep voting PC and you'll pay for everything without getting a tax rebate from them when they quit spending on the little guy.

By the way HAYES looks lost in the picture, the man that is helping Sault Ste. Marie prosper (not).
thera 4/14/2014 4:12:11 PM Report

"create a private-sector solution to ensure the long-term viability of the line"

Umm, the private sector is exactly why we are in the situation we are in.
TFinn 4/14/2014 4:43:40 PM Report

Still on death row ....good till next March ...is this just a stay of execution ??
Dixiepup 4/14/2014 5:30:03 PM Report

I knew this would happen al along. They dropped the bomb, everyone freaked out, they give us money for one more year and look like good guys. The government knew all along what they were doing. That's the way it works in politics.
Dixiepup 4/14/2014 5:30:28 PM Report

I knew this would happen al along. They dropped the bomb, everyone freaked out, they give us money for one more year and look like good guys. The government knew all along what they were doing. That's the way it works in politics.
IgnorantNortherner 4/14/2014 5:35:17 PM Report

@soowat, did you read the study or are you suggesting that simply because a study was conducted (with taxpayer dollars-SURPRISE!) it must mean the rail service is super important?

@I'm In, keep pretending like one party is less corrupt than any other and you'll continue to have lots of things to complain about (but not really, 'cause you spend all your money in the US)
pope29 4/14/2014 6:56:12 PM Report

Only a few people know this but there is gold in them there hills. Check it out!!
welcome2 4/15/2014 8:57:25 AM Report

After all that has been written, said, about this issue, to this day I have seen nothing in terms of concrete figures to support the need for the gov't to keep subsidizing the passenger service. I understand that that there are camp owners, lodge owners that rely on this service to get to their properties but does that need warrant taxpayer money being used to allow that to continue. The gov't I'm sure has done it's homework and concluded that it does not. I have seen nothing but words from those who disagree with that decision. The truth of the matter whether we like it or not is that these types of decisions are based on $$$ not words. It has already been proven that a "private sector" solution will be a tough row to hoe as we have "been there, done that" and that is the reason the subsidy was being paid in the first place
harry dick 4/16/2014 12:05:59 AM Report

AS I UNDERSTAND IT , THE COST TO RUN THE TRAIN TO HEARST COSTS $2,000,000 A YEAR TO RUN. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS CRYING AT THIS COST , YET THEY WASTE MORE THAN THAT EVERY DAY IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ARGUING ABOUT NOTHING AND NAME CALLING FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER .THESE PEOPLE SNEEZE AND WASTE $2,000,000. LOOK AT ALL THE FRAUD THAT HAS COME TO LIGHT IN THE LAST YEAR ALONE. WITH THE R.C.M.P. INVOLVED , THE COSTS ARE CLIMBING INTO TO HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS , WITHOUT EVER RECLAIMING ANY OF THE MONIES LOST IN THE FIRST PLACE . NOW , $2,000,000 DOESN'T SOUND LIKE MUCH NOW DOES IT. IT IS JUST A CASE OF WHO YOU ARE!!!!
Comments
14
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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