Supporters of the Algoma Passenger Train are pushing the government to back the important piece of infrastructure.

Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes says the train connecting Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst provides a significant boost to the economy in northern Ontario. Hughes says for the little bit of funding the government would have had to provide, it could have helped generate up to $40 million in economic activity in the region.

She says back in 2014 the Conservative government decided to remove the remote subsidy for the rail service, but after realizing it was a mistake, they promised to invest $5.2-million dollars over three years to get the line back up and running. Hughes says now we’re seeing a Liberal government who won’t follow through with the previous commitment, and if they decide not to provide any funding it shows they are turning their back on Northerners.

The MP is continuing to stress the importance of the passenger train saying it not only provides an economic boost to the region, but also connects communities and businesses. Hughes says some of the roads near the rail line are privately owned and not properly maintained. She talked about one resident who hasn’t gone back to his property since the rail service stopped because the roads are too bad.

Hughes says before the rail subsidy was cancelled the government failed to look at the direct impact it would have on these communities. She says the passenger train has been the only safe, affordable, all-season access into the Algoma wilderness for the last hundred years.

(Written by: Rudy Kadlec)