The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, will be in Sault Ste. Marie on Monday April 14 to make an announcement regarding Algoma Central Railway passenger service.
Stakeholders and other interested parties are invited to attend the announcement, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. outside City Council Chambers on the third level of the Sault Ste. Marie Civic Centre.
WHAT? Announcement from Transport Canada
WHEN? Monday, April 14 at 11:30 a.m.
WHERE? Third Level, Sault Civic Centre
In early-2014, the Government of Canada announced that it would be cutting its $2.2-million investment in the Algoma Central Rail (ACR) passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. Without this investment, CN Rail, the owner and operator of the line, has indicated that it will be cancelling the run on April 29, 2014.
The ACR not only provides a crucial passenger service to remote communities, First Nations and municipalities in Northern Ontario, it also provides remote access to a broad range of stakeholders, including tourism resorts, lodges, small businesses, camp and property owners, as well as those who hunt, fish, trap and generally enjoy the rugged landscape made famous by Canada’s renowned Group of Seven artists.
In light of the cancellation and the severe impact on people, businesses and communities serviced by the line, the ACR Passenger Service Stakeholder Committee was established. The goal: preserve this crucial transportation infrastructure by keeping the run operating in the short-term while a longer-term solution is found.
The Stakeholder Group met on February 13, 2014. Those in attendance agreed to establish a smaller Working Group to represent the broad-range of interests that are directly impacted by the cancellation of ACR’s crucial passenger rail service.
To make the business case to the Government that ACR passenger rail is a worthwhile investment, the Working Group retained the services of BDO Canada. The accounting and advisory firm is helping to draft an economic impact assessment of the passenger line. To assist in these efforts, a stakeholder survey was developed. With nearly 500 responses, the survey garnered a strong response and considerable feedback.