By SooToday.com Staff
Friday, January 29, 2010
DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP
Orazietti continues working with provincial and federal governments to find additional support for Huron Central Railway
McGuinty government investment supporting industry and
protecting jobs in Algoma Region
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON - David Orazietti, MPP has been working with the provincial ministers of energy and infrastructure and transportation, their staff and local officials, as well as the federal minister of transportation, for over two years to improve short-line rail infrastructure between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury to support local industry.
“Through the hard work of the provincial and federal governments, along with local municipal officials and industry representatives, a short-term solution was found last year to keep Huron Central Railway operating,” said Orazietti. “This group continues its efforts to find a sustainable plan to support the rail line as we recognize that transporting industrial goods by rail is more efficient for business, has environmental benefits and reduces pressure on our highways.”
In September 2009, Orazietti announced that the McGuinty government would support the City of Sault Ste. Marie and local industry with a $1.5 million investment to upgrade commercial rail service between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.
In partnership with Domtar and Essar Steel Algoma, the province was able to start the renewal of the 350-kilometre Huron Central Rail line, including rail, tie and bridge improvements.
The investment allowed the rail line to remain open while helping to retain 45 jobs.
Subsequently, the provincial government and the federal government developed a call for proposals that allowed private sector entities, including short line rail operators, to apply for stimulus funding.
The provincial government is currently working with the Government of Canada to acquire matching federal funding for the Huron Central line.
Yesterday, after a year of discussions, the City of Sault Ste. Marie announced that a working committee led by Joe Fratesi, chief administrative officer reached an agreement in principle with Huron Central Railway Inc.
The working group, consisting of representatives from Essar Steel Algoma Inc., Domtar and the City of Sault Ste. Marie, outlined a framework for addressing the long term operation of the short-line railway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.