STILL TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR PASSENGER SERVICE ON ACR

Ottawa  – Carol Hughes says it is time for the government to do the right thing for businesses, communities, and property owners who will be hurt by the loss of passenger services on the Algoma Central Railway.

The MP for Algoma Manitoulin Kapuskasing, who took part in an adjournment debate on the ACR last night, says the Conservative government is taking a narrow view and dismissing all evidence that shows as much.

“What`s missing from the hard line being taken (with CN) is any recognition of the economic cascade this will create,” said Hughes.  “This is not a clear cut case of saving $2.2 million dollars.  Every dollar invested in passenger rail creates economic activity along the line and supports a variety of business ventures.” 

Hughes says the subsidy was lost because the route is not considered remote, but the government is asking people in places like Oba to rely on roads that are not maintained for public use.

“The government is assuming the industrial roads are safe and reliable for public use.  But most of these are secondary roads and many are not even open during the winter,” said Hughes. 

Hughes showed that there is abundant money for the government to promote themselves and even to subsidize profitable oil and gas companies for more than a billion dollars which indicates that cutting the subsidy as more of a choice than a need.

“2.2 million dollars is how much this government spends on advertising every ten days to promote themselves, but when the chips are down they claim they are broke,” said Hughes. “but there is still a chance to do the right thing and find the money to maintain passenger service and protect those businesses it seems set to abandon.”