Ontario: Does the north need the Northlander?

By Josh Dehaas, TVO.org; December 13, 2017

When Kerry Desilets’s friend died earlier this year, Desilets desperately wanted to attend the funeral in Toronto. Then she looked at her transportation options. Kapuskasing had passenger flights, but they were far too expensive. (The flights have since been cut.) She considered the government’s Ontario Northland bus, but that would have required sitting for 13 hours or more with a colicky two-month-old baby. She could have driven, but there was no one to tend to her newborn. She missed the funeral.

Had the Northlander passenger train service from Toronto to Cochrane via North Bay still been running, Desilets says, she would have made it. On the train, she would have had room to change diapers and could have walked around with her restless little girl. But the Liberals killed the Northlander in 2012, citing a “no longer affordable” per-passenger subsidy in excess of $400.

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