Ontario Northland is looking forward to the commission being transferred to the Ministry of Transportation.

Work towards that goal is ongoing and was announced in last week’s Fall Economic Statement.

Technically the province is exploring the feasibility of moving Ontario Northland to the MTO, but MPP Vic Fedeli says the aim is to see it happen ‘as quick as possible’.

“There is huge synergies in putting these two back together, that’s where they were when they began and this is where they belong, and we will do everything in our power to move this along very quickly,” he says.

ONTC President and CEO Corina Moore says the MTO understands transportation and how to seemlessly integrate services and the infrastructure requirements.

“They’re planning what transportation needs to look like in this province and we’ll have a greater voice in what Northern Ontario needs to ensure that plan includes an integrated service of Ontario Northland’s bus and rail services,” she says.

Moore also says they continue to collaborate with Metrolinx on building a business case for passenger rail in the north.

“It’s near completion, it will be provided to the government at the end of this year for decision-making. We’re really excited about that plan because it’s really detailed on how we bring back passenger rail to the north and I’m excited to be a part of that,” she says.

As for bus service, Moore says they’ve expanded significantly east and west over the past few years, have included service to hospitals and post-secondary schools and have provided expansion options further west, too.

Unifor Local 103 President Andy Mitchell says they’ve been advocating for a switch out of Northern Development and Mines for a number of years.

“We sort of fell behind and we’ve seen parts of Ontario Northland get divested all through that time. Originally when we were with the MTO many years ago, we were always growing,” he says.


(Photos by station staff)


Filed under: ministry-of-transportation, nipissing, ontario-northland, passenger-rail