|Bruce Hyer, MP|
THUNDER BAY, ON – Thunder Bay–Superior North MP Bruce Hyer and Greg Gormick, Project Facilitator for Transport Action’s National Dream Renewed campaign, released Hyer’s Independent Members’ report chronicling the decline of passenger rail along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The report, A Wedding Band of Confederation: Restoring Rail Passenger Service to Ontario’s North Shore and Across Canada, encourages engagement by citizens and town governments to get the region back on track.
“Lake Superior’s North Shore lost its last train in 1990 when the Conservative government cut VIA’s Canadian route through Thunder Bay,” Hyer said. “It was VIA’s most popular and most profitable route, and with good reason: the spectacular journey along the beautiful North Shore was a tourist draw in and of itself. But after years of reckless government cuts, Superior North has been left without rail transport and residents are forced to bear the economic consequences.”
(There is "Budd Car" service between Sudbury to Chapleau and White River and return currently.)
Hyer hosted a Thunder Bay Town Hall on passenger rail with Gormick in November, which was attended by over 100 residents.
“Every single person at that town hall said the restoration of passenger rail to the North Shore is vital to boosting economic diversification and tourism in the region,” Hyer said. “Bringing back passenger rail would be cost-effective, bringing in significant revenues for VIA and providing enormous benefits to the Canadian economy. Seniors who don’t drive and those with medical appointments especially want and need it.”
Hyer, who served previously as President of the North of Superior Tourism Association (NOSTA) and on the board of directors of Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association (NOTO) has long championed the restoration of passenger rail to Thunder Bay and the surrounding region.
“One MP alone cannot win the battle,” Gormick said. “Hyer’s initiative must be accompanied by a public campaign to reinvigorate VIA rail and passenger train travel in Canada. This report provides a clear analysis of the failures of successive governments to support passenger rail, and lays out a clear plan to reinvigorate train transportation in this country.”
“The battle for a modern, sustainable and nationwide passenger service to meet the needs of Canadians is just beginning,” Gormick added.
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Bruce Hyer, MP
House of Commons