Northern Communities Intend to Fight Against Announced Northlander Train Service Closure
NORTH BAY, ON, Aug. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Representatives from the General Chairperson's Association (GCA) which represents all unionized employees at Ontario Northland (ONTC) were hastily summoned to a meeting yesterday with Infrastructure Ontario's lawyer to be informed that the Northlander will be discontinued in the coming weeks and the divestiture of Ontera continues to proceed.
"In our view the McGuinty government is feeling the increasing pressure from Northern Ontario and is scrambling to somehow send a message to communities that the ONTC fight is lost. The Liberal's intend to remove the Northlander service on September 28 and we intend to ensure that come September 29, that the Northlander is still on track continuing to service the rail corridor," said Brian Kelly, CAW Local 103 president and spokesperson for the GCA.
"This demonstrates an increased level of disdain by this government for Northerner's who live, work and travel into and out of the region. New Metrolinx rail services are being announced in southern Ontario on a weekly basis, and perversely they call the discontinuance of passenger rail service in Northern Ontario an enhancement," added Kelly.
Additionally, Infrastructure Ontario restated that Ontera remains on the divestiture chopping block as possibly the first line of business to be severed from the ONTC family and sold in the fire sale.
"We pressed Infrastructure Ontario for details of the Ontera divestiture process and they replied that they had no details to add nor do they have any timeline for the process to move along. Quite simply this was a repeat of the McGuinty's government's wrong- headed decision to conduct a fire sale" added Kelly. "We remain extremely disappointed by the lack of consultation, transparency and detail in regards to the McGuinty government's plans to harm Northern Ontario," concluded Kelly.
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)For further information:
For more information, please contact Brian Kelly at 705-471-5263