With the federal election upon us, CAPT is taking the opportunity to call upon federal candidates to declare their stance on renewing rail service in the North.
The regional economy has lost approximately $240 million since the train from the Sault to Hearst stopped running in July 2015. This is based on the 2014 BDO Economic Impact Assessment that estimated between $38 million and $48 million a year of economic benefits from the passenger train.
The economic impact assessment was based on 2013 stats which was a time when fewer Americans were coming to Canada due to their dollar being about equal to the Canadian dollar, effects of the SARS illness and less ease in crossing the border prior to NEXUS cards. If the train were running now, the economic impact figures would be much higher. Small businesses that depended on the passenger train have suffered greatly since 2015.
CAPT will be meeting with all the electoral candidates and will attend all-candidate debates to raise this important issue.
CAPT fully supports the Missanabie Cree First Nation’s proposed Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban (Bear Train in Cree). Under Chief Jason Gauthier’s leadership, Missanabie Cree First Nation has completed all the requirements to ensure the operation of this essential service:
i. Detailed business plan
ii. Successful receipt of a Railway Operating Certificate
iii. Completion of a safety plan
iv. Excellent relationship with the line owner: CN
The Bear Train would:
i. Support economic development, increase employment and expand the middle class—by increasing tourism revenue from snowmobilers, fishers, remote tourist resorts, eco and Indigenous tourism
ii. Contribute to Reconciliation with Indigenous People as the first First Nation run train service in Ontario
iii. Mitigate climate change since rail is better for the environment than air
iv. Offer safe, reliable and accessible travel for people with disabilities and seniors
v. let students travel to colleges & universities and people to travel to regional health care