Start the Bear Train from Sault to Hearst: Call out to Federal Candidates

Megaphone. Attractive woman with megaphone

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

Anyone interested in receiving more information or in getting involved can sign up for CAPT email messages at or by sending an email to [email protected]


  1. And where’s the plan?

    That service can’t be relaunched for $12.3 million. Just restoring an expensive and ancient service that doesn’t meet the real needs of those on the isolated segments and the market segment on the north end that needs a connection to Sudbury and North Bay isn’t the answer.

    This exercise has now cost taxpayers $100,000 in federal bucks. How much more is going to be wasted before some realizes you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that got you into it?

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