Hughes and Mantha maintain pressure in defence of ACR passenger service

Ottawa – Pressure to save the Algoma Central Railways passenger rail service is being applied in Ottawa and Toronto by Carol Hughes and Michael Mantha who believe it is time to find a solution.

Hughes brought the voices of stakeholders to parliament last night as the MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing read excerpts from messages that illustrate the frustration of businesses that rely on passenger service.

“To hear this news is completely devastating and lacks any Federal promise for our future and also the economic boost businesses like ours provide to the local communities nearby over the long term,” said Hughes quoting a message from Tatnall Camp. “Our reservations are completely in jeopardy as well as our ongoing marketing investments.”

Hughes noted that tourist operators who rely on ACR passenger service are being frustrated at the same time that the low Canadian dollar creates ideal conditions for an influx of American tourists. 

Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin is calling on the province to work with the federal government so that a solution can be reached that will protect the tourism economy and jobs in Northern Ontario.

“The continued loss of transportation services in Northern Ontario is alarming. Many are still reeling from the divestment of the ONTC and recent news of the loss of ACR services is salt in their wounds,” said Mantha.  “The cancellation of this service will have devastating impacts on the northern communities, tourism, and local economies”

Hughes then raised the case of Oba which will be stranded without passenger service during Question Period on Thursday.

“The Member from Sault St Marie is telling people the decision to cut passenger rail funding is justified because the communities along the ACR line have quote, “year-round access to the national transportation system”, ” said Hughes. “This is not the case for residents of Oba whose only option will be a private, rough, logging road that is impassable at times.”

Hughes called on the government to do the right thing and reverse the mean-hearted cut.