Passenger train let filmmakers follow in the footsteps of the Group of Seven: Hughes

Ottawa – Tourist’s inspired by an award winning documentary on the Group of Seven will have a difficult time tracing the historic footsteps of the artists if the government maintains its refusal to support the Algoma Passenger Train, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

Hughes delivered a petition in the House of Commons, Wednesday calling on the government to support the services which add so much to the regional tourist economy. She also paid tribute to a local artist/art historian and photographers who worked on the documentary Painted Land which explores the connection between the Algoma wilderness and the seminal group of Canadian artists.

“The writer photography team of Joanie and Gary McGuffin from Goulais River and Sault Ste. Marie artist and art historian Michael Burtch tell us that without passenger services on the line the award winning documentary film, Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven, could not have been made,” said Hughes.  “Sadly, people inspired by the film to visit this breath-taking area are finding they cannot take the train to follow in the footsteps of the Group of Seven.”

Hughes reminded the Commons that tourists are being forced to rely on a more dangerous option if they chose to travel into the Algoma wilderness.

“The train is a safer way to have all-season access to the remote wilderness and any alternatives cited by the government are not reliable, safe, or year-round,” said Hughes. “These are mainly industrial roads that are not maintained for passenger vehicles or patrolled for safety.”