MCFN receives Rail Operating Certificate and Media update

1.     CAPT sends its congratulations to Chief Jason Gauthier and Missanabie Cree First Nation for approval for ROC

CAPT sends a huge congratulations to Chief Jason Gauthier and Missanabie Cree First Nation (MCFN) for successfully being approved for their Rail Operating Certificate (ROC).  They are the very first First Nation in Ontario to receive a Rail Operating Certificate. Thank you, Chief Gauthier, for all of the hard work that you did to make this happen.  This is an important step that was required for MCFN to be able to run the Bear Train between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst.  Now that MCFN has provided Transport Canada with a fully completed business plan and their ROC application has been approved, we urge Transport Canada to provide the required operating funding. Considering that the annual $2 million funding would result in over $48 million in regional economic benefits and $6 million in tax revenue, TC will surely see that this passenger train service has to be funded.

For more information please listen to this interview:

Interview with Chief Jason Gauthier Regarding MCFN Train Initiative SaultOnline ONNtv   23 Jul 2018

Chief Jason Gauthier of the Missanabie Cree First Nation speaks with Riley Smith about the rail operating certificate and the progress made on the initiative to get the Algoma Passenger Train up and running again.
https://saultonline.com/2018/07/chief-jason-gauthier-shares-update-on-rail-initiative/


2.     Media Update:

CAPT to leverage Greyhound loss By SARA McCLEARY  Monday, July 16, 2018
http://www.saultthisweek.com/2018/07/16/capt-to-leverage-greyhound-loss

Wawa-news.com  Letter – VIA Rail Bosses Not Up to the Job
https://wawa-news.com/index.php/2018/07/24/letter-via-rail-bosses-not-up-to-the-job/

NEORN Media Release and Latest Media Coverage

1.NEORN Media Release

 

MEDIA RELEASE JUNE 11, 2018
PASSENGER RAIL SUMMIT VIDEOS AVAILABLE ONLINE –
. . . . . . . SOON PASSENGER TRAINS ON TRACK?

 

More than 120 individuals from all walks of life attended the recent Northeastern Ontario Passenger Rail Summit in Sault Ste. Marie sponsored by NEORN (Northeastern Ontario Rail Network), CAPT (Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains) and CPMRT (Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel). The Summit was, from all media indications, declared a huge success. The Summit was held to inform the public of the importance of rail passenger services and introduce the ‘Loop’ concept, that being all the short line railways in the northeast, ONR (Ontario Northland Railway), ACR (Algoma Central Railway div. Canadian National), OVR (Ottawa Valley Railway), HCR (Huron Central Railway) and CNR (Canadian National Railway from North Bay to Toronto) which today form a continuous rail network moving freight. This same rail infrastructure could be utilized to enhance tourism and provide needed passenger services for all communities and First Nations along these lines.

Noted speakers from the rail industry, First Nations, Senior and Disability groups, Politicians, Student, Teacher and Environment Associations and various transportation specialists extolled the virtues of rail passenger services. The videotapes of these presentations can now be viewed at www.neorn.ca. Something as important as the social and economic reasons why the return of passenger rail in northeastern Ontario is needed can now be viewed by everyone - including those who could not attend the Sault Ste. Marie Summit due to the distanced to travel.

As a follow-up to the Sault Ste. Marie gathering for those who couldn’t attend, CAPT, NEORN and CPMRT have conducted RALLY FOR RAIL Town Hall meetings throughout the northeast in communities along the highway 11 corridor from the Muskoka region to Cochrane, along Highway 17E including Blind River and Sudbury and north of Sault Ste. Marie including Wawa, Dubreuilville, Hearst and Searchmont. At one small community there were 114 people present - underscoring the desire to hear about the possibility of passenger trains returning to the north. These pre-election public meetings were to help participants make informed decisions in the provincial election.
Our new government made promises during the campaign to restore passenger train service in northeastern Ontario. NEORN and its sister committees intend to make sure they come good on these promises with constant reminders, meetings and town hall gatherings. Passenger trains are efficient, effective, accessible, affordable, safe, reliable and environmentally responsible transportation all year round. The provincial government must act promptly now to address these needs of the northeast, NOW, FOR THE PEOPLE!

For Information and to view videos of the rail summit, visit NEORN at: www.neorn.ca.

‘MOVE PEOPLE, NOT JUST FREIGHT ON EXISTING TRACKS’

2.Latest Media Coverage

Tight race will have Romano working hard By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star

Friday, June 8, 2018

http://www.saultstar.com/2018/06/08/tight-race-will-have-romano-working-hard

VIA Rail tour starts (or ends) in White River By Richard Plaunt, Sault This Week

Monday, June 4, 2018

http://www.saultthisweek.com/2018/06/04/via-rail-tour-starts-or-ends-in-white-river

Candidates take final stab at wooing voters By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star  Wed, June 6, 2018

http://www.saultstar.com/2018/06/05/candidate-talk-final-stab-at-wooing-voters


 

Latest Media Coverage

Latest Media Coverage:
 
Should Ontario Northland take over Huron Central Railway?
A rail lobby group seems to think so. Here's why by James Hopkin  Sootoday.com
 
Let's rally for rail ... again   by Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star June 5, 2018
 
Northern rail is too important to risk Doug Ford: McCleave-Kennedy
The Sault deserves 'a plan for Huron Central Rail, not more Doug Ford bumper sticker slogans,' the NPD candidate says
 
 
Shoemaker: Steel mill needs Huron Central - SooToday.com

 

Rally for Rail Testimonial

CBC Radio's Morning North program, hosted by Markus Schwabe, took time to speak to Lucille Frith, spokesperson for the North Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) about the upcoming Rally for Rail town hall meetings in the region.  The Rally for Rail town halls are advocating for the return of passenger rail service in Northeastern Ontario, leading up to the upcoming June election.

You can listen to the interview here:  http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/morning-north/segment/15546115

Upon hearing the Morning North program Wednesday morning one listener, Marianne, emailed Lucille with her own testimonial for the return of passenger rail.  Here's what Marianne had to say:

Hi
 
I caught your interview this morning on CBC with Markus and I think it was ironic that I heard it during my commute from Sudbury to North Bay, a drive I’ve been doing for 6 years!  I’ve often fantasized about how wonderful it would be to merely drive to a station within my area, hop on a bud car, and be deposited in downtown North Bay so I could walk to work, then do it all in reverse at the end of the day.  Sure beats driving all the time, in good weather and bad.
 
I like the way your group is advocating for an increase in service.  It would serve more people than I think many realize.  It may be a case of “if you build it, they will come” but I’m sure they would come.  There are students who travel to universities and colleges in Sudbury and North Bay along this corridor; there are people making the trip by car for specialized doctor appointments, and there would be many more who do it to shop, enjoy the tourism offered by each area… the list goes on and on.  Also consider how we know from the last census that the north has a growing population of elderly who are becoming increasingly less comfortable with any highway drive.
 
Just last week, I was stopped on the highway around Warren for 50 minutes because of an accident.   And any Northerner knows the perils of winter driving.  I would gladly take a train just to avoid delays due to accidents and bad road conditions.  It would have to be affordable, though.  Based on my gas consumption, I would pay $100 a work week ($20 a day) for a roundtrip into North Bay in the morning (arriving before 9:00) and into Sudbury in the evening (leaving NB just after 5:00).  I think this would be welcomed by others, since I certainly recognize some of the same vehicles in my daily trip.  A few strategic stops along the way would certainly benefit others who commute along this corridor, for shorter distances.
 
Another thing I have noticed as well since working in North Bay is that there is really no better option than driving if you’re trying to get to Sault Ste Marie from North Bay.  That’s a 5 hour trip that I’m sure would be more pleasant on the train. 
 
And let’s not forget about the environment!

 

PASSENGER RAIL SUMMIT VERY SUCCESSFUL, LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE

Passenger Rail Summit Very Successful 

Enthusiastic crowd!

NEORN is delighted to report that the first NEORN Passenger Rail Summit was a huge success. It was well attended with over 120 people, 24 speakers and was covered by all of the local media (see their coverage in the links listed below).  Presentations were made by Chief Paul Syrette-Garden River FN & Chief Jason Gauthier – Missanabie Cree FN.  Present were mayors (Mayor Roger Sigouin – Hearst, Mayor Sue Jensen – Blind River, Mayor Lynn Watson –Macdonald, Meredith & Aberdeen Additional Township (Echo Bay) and Mayor Christian Provenzano – Sault Ste. Marie). Also in attendance were government officials from Ministry of Northern Development & Mines and senior leaders of UNIFOR.

 

A few of the
Speakers for the Rail Passenger Summit!

Mayor Provenzano posted this comment on Face Book later in the day:
“I want to thank the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network - NEORN for organizing a Passenger Rail Summit held today in Sault Ste. Marie. It was a well attended event, and I was grateful for the opportunity to speak. Transportation is fundamental to the health and sustainability of Northern Ontario. Transit options such as passenger rail service provide access to towns and cities located throughout the region, contributing to an improved quality of life for citizens and facilitating the movement of visitors to our region. 
A transit system connecting Northern Ontario needs to be in place, and NEORN’s proposed North Eastern Ontario Rail Loop could address this situation by providing access to communities, First Nations, businesses and the people of Northeastern Ontario to the rest of Canada.
Government subsidized passenger rail service is provided by governments across the world and right here in Canada, and it needs to be provided once again to our area.
As Mayor, I remain committed to providing assistance to 
NEORN, Coalition for Algoma Passenger TrainsCommittee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel - CPMRT and 
Mask Wa Oo Ta Ban - Bear Train to advocate for passenger rail service in Northern Ontario.” 

The following politicians attended. (Their answers to NEORN’s questions will be posted on the websites):
  • Michael Mantha   MPP Algoma –Manitoulin (NDP)
  • John Vanthof MPP Timiskaming-Cochrane (NDP)
  • Ross Romano MPP Sault Ste. Marie (PC)
  • Kara Flannigan, Green Party Candidate in the upcoming provincial election.
Written submissions were also provided by:
  • Carol Hughes
  • MP(NDP), Charlie Angus, MP(NDP)
  • a video clip by Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner 
A video of much of the summit will soon be posted on the NEORN, CAPT and CPMRT websites.  
A huge expression of gratitude goes out to all of the volunteers, sponsors and contributors.  They will be listed very soon on our websites.
 
Building on the momentum at the summit, prior to the provincial election, we will be holding meetings in many of the communities along the NEORN loop.  The dates will be announced soon. Please stay posted.

 

NEORN, CAPT and CPMRT are non-partisan. We want all politicians and political parties to support the NE Ontario Passenger Rail Loop because of the socio-economic and employment values it will support.

 

If anyone knows of a political event in the rail loop please let us know and we will pass the word. That way our followers might choose to attend those events to present our urgent need for restored passenger train service.

 

One that we just heard about is the Rally organized by Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford and MPP Ross Romano on Tuesday, April 24th in Sault Ste. Marie.
Doors open at 5:00 pm, rally starts at 5:30 pm. Free admission. Tuesday, April 24, 5:00 pm-6:30 pm
Location: The Water Tower Inn,  360 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 4Z7
Please click here to Register 

Latest Media Coverage

 

Saultonline.com NEORN 2018 Rail Summit: ‘This is what the North deserves’ By Riley Smith - April 20, 2018
https://saultonline.com/2018/04/neorn-2018-rail-summit-this-is-what-the-north-deserves/

 

NEORN: Move People, not just freight, by Rail By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star Thursday, April 19, 2018
http://www.saultstar.com/2018/04/19/neorn-move-people-not-just-freight-by-rail

 

Sault Ste. Marie hosts advocates of passenger rail service in the north meeting. By Jairus Patterson - CTV Northern Ontario April 19, 2018
https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1375408

 

Train passenger summit in Sault Ste. Marie aims to get service back up and running Apr 19, 2018 CBC Radio Up North
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/programs/upnorth/train-passenger-summit-in-sault-ste-marie-aims-to-get-service-back-up-and-running-1.4627316

 

'We're going to keep going,' says passenger rail advocate: First-ever Northeastern Passenger Rail Summit explores potential of reinstating passenger rail service by:  James Hopkin Sootoday.com April 19, 2018
https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/were-going-to-keep-going-says-passenger-rail-advocate-899396

 

Full steam ahead: Group wants to re-establish passenger rail service in northern Ontario    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/passenger-rail-neorn-summit-1.4627167

LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE

Latest Media Coverage

“The NorthEastern Ontario Passenger Rail Summit in Sault Ste. Marie Announces Guest Speakers” in Wawa-news.com
https://wawa-news.com/index.php/2018/04/13/the-northeastern-ontario-passenger-rail-summit-in-sault-ste-marie-announces-guest-speakers/
“Rail Summit April 19th in Sault Ste. Marie announces guest speakers” By Riley Smith  Saultonline.com April 13, 2018
https://saultonline.com/2018/04/rail-summit-april-19th-in-sault-ste-marie-announces-guest-speakers/
CBC Radio Doc Project “Saving the train to Churchill”
https://podcast-a.akamaihd.net/mp3/podcasts/thedocproject-g9LIEP63-20180409.mp3
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