Petitioners call on government to support Algoma passenger train: Hughes

Ottawa – Supporters of the Algoma Passenger Train are using every avenue to pressure the government to back this important piece of infrastructure for the Northern Ontario economy according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

Hughes delivered petitions in the House of Commons laying out the arguments for the government to reinstate the modest investment that would allow the service to resume.

“75% of the land owners along the line relied on passenger rail to reach their properties and that any roads the government claims can be used are industrial roads that are not maintained or monitored since they are not intended for public use,” said Hughes.

Citing economic, cultural, and even legal arguments, the petition covers more ground than can be addressed in other formats available to parliamentarian such as questions.

“In addition to that they remind the government of the positive effect passenger services had on the Algoma economy and how its absence has created significant difficulties for the businesses up and down the line,” said Hughes.  “They point out that the service was important to First Nations accessing traditional land and that the failure to consult with First Nations before cancelling the subsidy infringed on the right to consultation.”

Hughes finished by stressing the historical importance of the service.

“The passenger train has been the only safe, affordable, all-season access into the Algoma wilderness for the last hundred years,” said Hughes.