Dear Ontario Northland,

I’m not sure what to say or how to even start this, and I must say that I’m not even sure what to think about the events of today. I found out about all of this going to work this morning with my dad (Since we both work at the same place I can get rides) and we were listening to CBC Sudbury’s Morning North with Markus Schwabe¬†program when it was announced. I’m still frustrated about this. You say you want to cut costs? You’ve taken out the passenger train, and now you’re cutting the stations in Englehart and Matheson so you can streamline services? Like that’s going to happen.

So this is my open letter to Ontario Northland.

You know how much your going to lower ridership? Do you know how many people don’t have vehicles of their own or are senior citizens? Or the people that rely on taking the bus so that they can actually get to work even though they’ll still be early since it’s the only way for them to get to New Liskeard. So what are they supposed to do? Change their schedule because they don’t have a way to work in the afternoons? Where are they going to get bus tickets now and where’s it going to stop?

If you haven’t realized, This is me that I’m talking about. I live in Englehart. I work at Walmart, and now with these changes I might have to change my schedule because there might not be a way to get into work in the afternoons anymore. I’ll be going to the bus station this afternoon to try and figure things out a little better.

I know it’s not until May for this to take into effect, but if things happen the way that they might, I know my schedule a couple weeks in advance, so I really need to know what’s going on so I don’t have to keep calling in because there is no way that I can make it in the afternoons.

And even looking at places in New Liskeard to rent to try and be closer to work, I can’t afford any of them.

I know I’ve been talking about myself here but how many others are like me that rely on the train to get to work, to get to doctor and Hospital appointments, etc. You’ve taken the trains away and now the busses. Do you want people to move out of Northern Ontario or to stay?

And if it stops still, it might be where? Coffee Time? And how are we supposed to buy our tickets? Not everyone has access to the internet and printer to purchase them online, and what I really like is buying the multipack of ticks since I work at walmart, but you can’t do that online.

John Vanthof, MPP for Temiskaming Cochrane, put out a post that explained it nicely:

“The announced closure of bus stations in Englehart and Matheson and reduced hours in other areas does not seem like the “enhanced” bus service that the North was promised when the Liberal government cancelled the Northlander.

At an ONTC presentation in Cochrane, it was made clear that the bus service was not going to be subsidized by the government. It would have to stand on its own. The recently announced cuts are a direct result of this policy. The problem is that making it more difficult to access the bus will decrease ridership making it even harder for the passenger service to break even.

The real problem is that public transportation in other parts of the province needs to be and is subsidized by the province. How long would the GO service in the GTA survive with no direct funding from the province. I support funding for the GO system but I believe that the ONTC passenger division should be afforded the same treatment.

I fully realize that the ONTC needs to be as efficient as possible but Northerners are justifiably concerned since in the past this quest has been a screen for death by a thousand cuts.”

So Thanks Toronto, the GO services still get funded, and whatever else, and we get left high and dry.

And yet, the Liberal’s can still get away with gas plants and wasting a whole lot of money.

Why can’t Northern Ontario be Treated the same way as Southern Ontario?



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