Mushkegowuk- James Bay NDP MPP, Guy Bourgouin, is calling on the Ford government to take action and reverse the recent service reduction of the Polar Bear Express (PBX) passenger train, Northeastern Ontario’s main point of entrance to James Bay.
“Doug Ford’s cuts to Northern Ontario has forced a reduction in the frequency of service of the Polar Bear Express train that northern families and communities depend on,” Bourgouin said. “Instead of supporting northern families, the Ford Conservatives are making life harder for Northern Ontarians.”
Ontario Northland, whose responsibilities fall under the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, recently announced a reduced PBX train schedule for the fall-winter session.
“Families, elders, students and workers rely on the PBX to attend to medical appointments, work and school. There are multiple development and tourism projects currently taking place in the Moosonee area, including a new OPP station, a hotel and a hospital site that rely on the train. Cutting down passenger service to an already isolated region is simply unconscionable,” Bourgouin said.
Wayne Taipale, Mayor of the Town of Moosonee added, “The Town of Moosonee is very upset with the proposed fall-winter PBX schedule. This will really affect the economy of Moosonee and cause great inconveniences to all community members and those travelling through the area. This is a step backwards for our Town,” said Mayor Taipale. “We feel that the Ontario Northland is an essential service to our community and this will force an additional expense for any travellers. As a community that is working on improving our tourism and economic development, this reduction in train service will be a great hindrance.”
“New Democrats are calling on the Ford government to connect all regions and people in the province, and take this matter with the seriousness it deserves and commit to ending this harmful reduction of passenger train service for Northern Ontario,” said Bourgouin.