SAULT STE MARIE, ON, Jan. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - A quiet announcement that the federal government is cancelling funding for passenger service on CN Rail trains between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst is the latest in a series of cuts to transit services for students and communities in northern Ontario.
"Students already have limited transit options to travel to and from northern Ontario campuses," said Corey Grist, Northern Caucus Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "The provincial and federal governments should be expanding passenger train services in northern communities to ensure students across Ontario can travel to a college or university of their choice."
This week, CN Rail informed the mayor of the town of Hearst that the federal government had cut subsidies that fund passenger train service from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst. As a result, passenger train service will end as of March 31, 2014.
In 2012, the Ontario government ended the Ontario Northland Rail service between Toronto and Cochrane. The Northlander provided passenger train services to 14 northern Ontario communities and took its last trip in September 2012.
"Many northern Ontario students continue to be shut out of colleges and universities because of the high costs of tuition fees, food and transportation," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Further limiting transit options will only exacerbate the barriers students in northern Ontario face."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's largest student organization, representing more than 300,000 college and university students in all regions of the province. The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents students at Algoma University, Collège Boréal, Lakehead University, Laurentian University and Nipissing University.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information:
Alastair Woods, Chairperson: (647) 378-8942 or [email protected]
Corey Grist, Northern Ontario Caucus Chairperson: (613) 433-2494 or [email protected]