Ontario’s Green Party isn’t waiting for the provincial election. It wants the Ford government to reinstate Northlander passenger rail service in the spring budget.
Timiskaming-Cochrane Green candidate Kris Rivard notes that the province is putting up $6-billion for Highway 413 in the south, but has spent only $5-million for the Northlander since promising to reinstate it.
“It’s a little frustrating, right?” he observes. “So the Green Party is trying to put some pressure on the current government in order to move forward with their plans and promises made in 2018.”
Among reasons Rivard wants passenger service along the Highway 11 corridor is to be an affordable alternative to high gasoline prices. As well, he sees it as falling into his party’s environmental mandate. He says it would help reduce the 35% contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from cars.
“One big way would be to bring in passenger rail, which is an efficient way of transporting our people from Point A to Point B, so it could definitely help with our air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the province.”
Fewer cars on the road would increase safety, especially in winter, Rivard says, adding that rail is also an option for people who can or won’t drive, and for students to and from post-secondary schools.