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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pacific heads east


The next leg of Pacific's tour saw the coach on the rear of VIA train 48 on 27 June.  The coach will be in the Ottawa area before heading to Montreal and then back to Toronto on July 4.  I caught the train at Whitby, when it overtook a stopped CN freight.

ONTC Coverage... In the GTA!?!?!?!?

Yes!  Finally, some actual coverage of the ONTC issue in GTA (or close enough) media:


Barrie Examiner: Northern Bus Service in Jeopardy

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hunter Harrison Appointed As President & CEO of Canadian Pacific

After months of drama, Hunter Harrison has finally been appointed to head CP Rail.  His appointment has divided the company between those looking for a more efficient company and those wary of damage to the safety-driven corporate culture. 

Harrison rose to fame as head of the rival CN Rail.  He streamlined the company, making it very attractive for investors.  His critics argue that CN's safety and labour record suffered in the drive to produce dividends and increase operating efficiency. 

Harrison's appointment comes after several months of tension on CP's board which has seen the resignatoin of several long-term members.
Canadian Pacific | Hunter Harrison Appointed As President & CEO of Canadian Pacific

Pacific takes to the rails!

Two years ago, someone complained to the Toronto Star that there was a disused level crossing in Ajax, Ontario that was slowing down traffic.  The Star discovered that the level crossing was on a siding connected to the Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee plant and that there was a private passenger car sitting on it.  A follow-up article offered a glimpse inside this piece of Canadian railway history.  The Pacific was used as part of the 1939 Royal train and was also used by John Diefenbaker during his election campaign.  The luxury car was later acquired by Paul Higgins Sr., owner of Mother Parkers, and was stored at their Ajax plant.  The articles hinted that the coach might be refurbished as part of the company's centennial in 2012.  It was!

This month, the newly-restored Pacific took to the rails as part of Mother Parkers 100th birthday celebration.  The car is being attached to the rear of VIA Rail and Ontario Northland passenger trains and will be crossing the country, carrying guests and raising money for Alzheimer's research.  A tentative schedule is available here.

Pacific at Oshawa station, 25 June.

One of the first trips was on the end of VIA train 67 on 25 June.  On this quiet, clear evening, the train pulled into Oshawa station for a brief stop.  A group of smiling people, including Paul Higgins Jr., came out onto the rear platform to greet me and another railfan.  Before the train pulled away again, Paul Higgins Jr. handed down tins of Martinson Coffee for myself and Matt Soknacki.  This was a kind gesture and good PR. 

It is very rare to see private rail cars nowadays.  Decades ago, it was common for company bosses to own their own coaches and have them attached to trains.  Due private jets and liability concerns, it became much less attractive for railway companies to handle passenger cars that they didn't own.  This tour is very special and there is plenty of time for railfans to get out and see the coach for themselves.  Details of the tour can be found at: http://motherparkersremembers.ca/.  The tour is in support of the Alzheimer's Society, certainly a worthwhile cause.

And what of the coffee?  I am not a coffee drinker, but the sealed tin has become part of my railway memorabilia collection.  After all, it isn't every day that you get coffee supplied by such a special coach!

Fear of ONTC divestment widespread: MPPs

Norm Miller and Vic Fedeli discovered two important things during their consultations around northern Ontario.  Firstly, they discovered that the infrastructure needs huge investment, not divestment.  Secondly, they discovered that people are very afraid of what might happen with no ONTC.
Fear of ONTC divestment widespread: MPPs - The North Bay Nugget

Chamber wants meeting with McGuinty

The North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce has joined the list of groups hoping to meet face to face with Dalton McGuinty regarding the divestment of the ONTC.  Time and time again, McGuinty has shown how little he cares about the north.  Just this last weekend, a portion of the Algo Mall roof in Elliot Lake collapsed, tragically killing three people.  McGuinty was less than two hours away in Sudbury.  Rather than rush to the site, he (and the entire Liberal caucus) returned to Toronto, as the rescue attempt stopped, started and stopped again.  It took McGuinty five days to visit the site.  No wonder the north feels abandoned!  Does the Chamber of Commerce have a chance in obtaining a meeting?  No.
Chamber wants meeting with McGuinty - The North Bay Nugget

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"VIA Rail continues its modernization" - say what?

Rumours have been flying ever since VIA Rail's annual general meeting that all was not well and that cuts were coming.  Shop-floor gossip suggested that as soon as Stephen Harper's regime was away for the summer, and thus away from prying media, the axe would fall.  It has.

Buried at the bottom of a press release yesterday, VIA announced that to modernise and streamline its operation, it must lay off 200 workers.  If that wasn't enough, VIA announced reductions and even outright train cancellations.  Here is what is affected:
  • The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver) will only run twice a week during the winter, rather than the current year-round three weekly departures.
  • The Ocean (Montreal-Halifax) will run three times per week, rather than six.
  • The Ontario-Quebec corridor is a mix of good and bad news.  The Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Quebec City corridor is to see new trains, but also some losses, notably trains 630 and 631 are gone.
  • Train 70 (Windsor-Toronto) will only operate London-Toronto on weekends.
  • Train 740 (Aldershot-Toronto) is cancelled.
  • Train 686 (London-Toronto) is cancelled.
  • Trains 90, 92 & 95 (Toronto-Niagara Falls) are either reduced or cancelled.
  • Trains 85 & 88 (Toronto-Sarnia) will terminate at London.
  • Trains 89 & 86 (Toronto-Kitchener-London) are cancelled.
All of these changes will have been implemented by the end of the year.  The Montréal-Senneterre, Montréal-Jonquière, Sudbury-White River, Winnipeg-Churchill and Jasper-Prince Rupert routes are required to remain operational by the government and will not change.

Back in the early 1990s, VIA Rail was decimated by massive service cuts.  These gave Canada the skeletal passenger rail network that we struggle with today.  While the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle is seeing huge investment, the rest of the country is slowly losing every train it has.  Virtually every other developed country in the world cannot keep up with demand for new and improved railway lines, even the United States!  Alas, Canada is not part of this group, we really are decades behind.  These are terrible cuts and soon there will be nothing left.

Some EMD workers back with Cat

As the last few locomotives roll off the London assembly line, about 1/4 of the former EMD workers have found work after parent company CAT announced it was closing the veteran factory earlier this year.  Among those who have found work, some are now working for CAT at locomotive assembly plants in Indiana and even in Brazil.  If this dramatic change of scene wasn't enough, these jobs are also short-term contracts, lacking the job security that London provided.  Other workers are also being offered work by EMD rival, GE.
Some EMD workers back with Cat | London Free Press

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Transportation for the North

This is a very thought-provoking editorial.  Not only does it offer a very good recap of the ONTC issue, but it also highlights how rail service throughout most of northern Ontario has already been decimated.  In a sense, Ontario Northland is a misnomer as their services really only cover the northeast.  While it would be great to expand service across all the north, let's just focus on saving what is still there for now.
Transportation for the North | The Chronicle-Journal

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ONTC Updates

It would appear that the ONTC unions are, understandably, losing patience with Dalton McGuinty.  In a release, the General Chairpersons Association suggests that, based on his previous track record, the premier's latest promise to maintain bus services after divestment is worthless.

A while ago, several NDP MPPs toured the north to consult with residents about the divestment of the ONTC.  Now, Norm Miller (Northern Development Critic) and Vic Fedeli (MPP Nipissing) will be touring the north to consult with people.  It is unlikely that anything will change with these consultations, but it at least allows people to voice their frustration with the government.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Street View, or Train View?

I came across this today while watching an ad before a video on Youtube.  I hadn't realised that Google's Street View technology was being used for more than streets!  Have a look:

A glimmer of hope

I wouldn't go as far as to say that McGuinty guaranteeing continued bus service is a glimmer of hope, but at least it is something.  I particularly like how he thanked the protest for being so respectful and staying out of his way.  Once more, the north does not matter.  McGuinty visited the north and could not meet with the protestors.
A glimmer of hope - The Sudbury Star

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The ONTC Rally in Sudbury

The protest in Sudbury yesterday was a success, with 12 speakers representing a variety of groups, governments and businesses addressing the crowd of over 300 people.  Neither Dalton McGuinty nor Rick Bartolucci took time away from the Liberal Party meeting to address the crowd that had gathered outside Laurentian University.  The government's continued refusal to speak with delegations from northern Ontario shows how little they care about the potential impact the divestment of the ONTC will have.  They have continued to insist that this is a transparent process, yet they refuse to meet with the very people that the divestment will affect and presented the plan as a done deal.

McGuinty was asked about the difference between the public transit systems in northern and southern Ontario and whether his plan set a precedent for the privatisation of other transit services.  He suggested that the two systems could not be compared as it would be an "apples and oranges comparison."  While it is true that northern Ontario does not need 12-car GO trains every few minutes during rush hour, or frequent GO bus connections, the region does need the services that Ontario Northland provides.  McGuinty, inadvertently I suspect, created an 'us and them' situation when he further said that the government "keep[s] increasing the amount of subsidies (given to Ontario Northland). The losses keep getting larger."  From this comment, we can infer that once an essential government service becomes too costly (which is a debatable claim in this instance), it can be dismantled, especially if it happens to be in a part of Ontario that does not normally elect Liberal MPPs.  He praised economic development in Sudbury, a Liberal riding, while despairing of the growing subsidy for the ONTC in the northern Ontario, a largely NDP voting area.  The choice of Sudbury, I suspect, was also a tactical move, a little patch of Liberal red in a vast swath of NDP orange.

While it is doubtful whether any change will come after this protest, it is clear that opposition to the divestment is strong and will continue.
Protesters call out premier over ONTC decision - The North Bay Nugget 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A CP Shot

I really do neglect the Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada's second-largest railway.  Unlike CN, CP's tracks east of Toronto are not shared with VIA Rail or GO Transit, meaning that you are far less likely to see something while you are trackside.

However, with the weather last week being so nice, I decided to head out and try a shot I had wanted to do for years.  After a 20 minute wait, CP 140 appeared and here is my shot. 
The heatwave in the GTA appears to be over so I hope to be back outside shooting trains this week.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Toronto Railway Museum Update

Orin Krivel, president of the Toronto Railway Historical Association, was again interviewed by Dale Goldhawk to give an update on the efforts to save the Toronto Railway Museum.  The number of signatures on the petition shows that the public want this museum, but a decision must be made quickly because downtown Toronto does indeed need more electricity.  There has been positive dialogue, but there is still no solution to this issue.

You can hear the interview here.

Please support this cause and sign the petition.  Thank you.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Omar Khadr's lawyers urge Canada to bring him home

Before this becomes an ever bigger embarrassment than it already is for Canada - it is time for him to come home, that was the deal.
Omar Khadr's lawyers urge Canada to bring him home - CBC News

Ontario Budget Passes, ONTC for Sale

Well, it didn't come as much of a surprise that the Ontario budget passed yesterday.  Despite all the posturing, the three main political parties really didn't want a summer election, nor did most Ontarians.  While the NDP abstained, the Progressive Conservatives opposed the Liberal budget, a budget which in fact contained very little cross-party collaboration, despite the fact that we have a minority government.

What of the ONTC?  As usual, media coverage in southern Ontario has been oblivious to anything happening north of Highway 7.  Both motions to stall or prevent the sale were voted down and the passage of the budget has removed what is likely the last legislative hurdle to the divestment.

Despite this, the fight to save the ONTC continues with a large rally at Laurentian University in Sudbury on 23 June, which will coincide with a visit from the Liberal party.  The budget passing is a blow, but the fight for Ontario Northland isn't over.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Northern MPPs wage war of words over ONTC

When politics and words get in the way of genuinely helping people.  This is not a partisan issue, it is a matter of helping and preserving life in northeastern Ontario.  This is not an opportunity to try and gain votes, rather it is time to sit down and come up with a genuine solution to keep the ONTC running.  At this moment, no party comes out on top.
Northern MPPs wage war of words over ONTC - Timmins Daily Press

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#219 is safe!

I received word earlier today that the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum's bid to purchase #219 has been successful.  Of course, this isn't the end of the story and they are now looking for assistance to move this piece of railway history from Cochrane to the museum site.  More details are on their website: http://normhc.ca/

Don't let this good news be premature - please help if you can!

Budget votes on the ONTC

This week, a cross-party committee is voting on various proposed amendments to the provincial budget.  Two of them concern the sale of the ONTC.  Monday, the committee rejected an NDP motion that attempted to block outsourcing of ONTC services should the budget pass.  The second motion, to be voted on today, was tabled by MPP Vic Fedeli and calls for a full economic impact study to be conducted into the sale of the ONTC and delivered to parliament no later than 3 October.  Fedeli is optimistic that his amendment will pass.

Whether any of this will actually have an impact is yet to be seen.  The prospect of an election is still there, but much less likely after the NDP agreed to allow the bulk of the budget to pass when it is subjected to a final vote tomorrow.

Update 20 June: Fedeli's motion was defeated.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Arbitrator backs Air Canada in contract deadlock with machinists

Ages ago, I followed the federal government's move to force Air Canada workers back to work.  The beauty of this sort of bargaining model is that it usually allows the company to get their way with government support, as is the case here.
Arbitrator backs Air Canada in contract deadlock with machinists | Reuters

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mayors get some answers on ONTC

At last!  Productive dialogue.
Mayors get some answers on ONTC - The North Bay Nugget

Major ONTC Rally Planned for Sudbury

There will be a major rally in Sudbury on June 23 to voice concerns over the divestment of the ONTC.  Details are here.

The ONTC Sale: A Guide for the Uninformed

Since the divestment of the ONTC was announced on 23 March, I have been posting links and offering opinions on the issue.  Months later, the divestment is still looming, despite growing opposition from northern Ontario.  This week, the ONTC unions made a presentation in Toronto asking the government to rethink the decision (the full text can be read here).  I think it is time to review the issue and what is at stake.

What is the ONTC?

The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission was formed with the creation of the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway in 1902.  It has since expanded and is now comprised of the Ontario Northland Railway (providing passenger, freight and equipment refurbishment services), bus service to remote communities, ferry service to Moose Factory and Ontera (providing telecommunication services to northeastern Ontario).  The ONTC employs about 1,000 people.  The ONTC provides vital transportation and infrastructure to northeastern Ontario, making it possible for people to live there and also to connect the region to the rest of the world.

What is happening?

On 23 March, the provincial government announced plans to privatise the ONTC because it was costing too much to run.  The plan calls for the sale of the rail freight and refurbishment divisions and the cancellation of the Toronto-Cochrane passenger train, along with the sale of the rest of the ONTC.  However, their plan would protect the rail service from Cochrane to Moosonee, some bus service and the Moose Factory ferry. 

What is the history?

About a decade ago, the previous government attempted to privatise the ONTC and backed down in the face of huge opposition.  In 2002, Dalton McGuinty (now the premier) promised he would never sell the ONTC.

What does the government say?

The Ontario government, mostly through the minister of Northern Development and Mines, Rick Bartolucci, says that the current level of subsidy being given to the ONTC is unsustainable and that the government would save money by selling it. The government claims that over $400 is spent to accommodate each passenger on the Toronto-Cochrane train and that the private sector could more efficiently provide service.  The 2012 Drummond Report made sweeping recommendations to reduce the provincial deficit (the highest in Canada) and to curb government spending. 

What do opponents of the plan say?

Opponents to the plan, including ONTC employees and their unions, opposition politicians and concerned citizens, claim that the services provided by the ONTC are vital to the survival of northeastern Ontario.  Among the notable points are that people find the train more comfortable than cars or buses for the long journey to Toronto, a trip often made to access medical treatment.  The concerns about the loss of jobs are also frequently voiced.  The population of northern Ontario is small, so a potential loss of up to 1,000 jobs would be significant.  Opponents also accuse Dalton McGuinty of breaking his 2002 promise.  Recently, the unions representing the ONTC employees have alleged that plans to sell the ONTC date back several years and that the Drummond Report was simply a pretext to put the plan in motion.

Why does northern Ontario care?

Northern Ontario cares because of job losses, the loss of vital transportation and communication links and because they feel abandoned by the provincial government.

Why does southern Ontario care?

For the most part, it doesn't.  Very little media coverage has been given to the sale by Toronto area media outlets and few people know about the proposed divestment. 

Why should people care?

Jobs are at stake and a huge portion of the province could lose links that help hold it together. 

Is there another solution?

Several solutions have been proposed.  The most notable is the "23 cent solution" proposed by the ONTC unions.  Essentially, this proposal suggests that the ONTC become a standalone crown agency and that its subsidies be tied into the much larger subsidies being given to Metrolinx, the public transportation agency for the Toronto area.  This plan suggests that per capita subsidies would be dramatically reduced, making the ONTC more efficient.  ONTC unions have been calling for the reorganisation of the Commission's structure since 2003.

What happens next?

Various groups in northern Ontario continue to organise and oppose the plans.  Next week, the government has set a deadline for the approval of the budget.  Should the budget be rejected, Ontario faces another election, meaning that all plans would be on hold.

Am I biased?

Of course, anyone who follows this website will know that my support is firmly with the opponents to the plan.

No savings to be found in ONTC divestiture

After all this fuss, is the sale really going to save the government any money?
No savings to be found in ONTC divestiture

Thursday, June 14, 2012

200 Posts, time for some good news!

Well, here we are, 200 posts.  Of course, simply posting links with a few lines of thought certainly helps accelerate the number of messages!  I thought that for #200, I would share some far more optimistic news.

This coming week, the John Street Roundhouse restoration project will be inducted into the North American Railway Hall of Fame (didn't know there was one, neat!) in St. Thomas, Ontario.  The restoration and reuse of the roundhouse is truly a great example of preservation and land use within a crowded urban setting.  Anyone who has seen the roundhouse in the past few years will know how special a space it is.  Congratulations!

Of course, all is not well as the Toronto Railway Museum is set to loose a huge amount of space on the site - more details here

Fedeli tables ONTC amendment to provincial budget

While this amendment would not stop the sale of the ONTC, it will certainly help highlight the consequences of the sale.  All parties now have the opportunity to look at the sale again and save face if they change their positions.
Fedeli tables ONTC amendment to provincial budget

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Friendly Reminder

Just a friendly reminder...

If you haven't already signed the petition to save the Toronto Railway Museum, please do so now:


So much work has gone into the project already and it would be a terrible loss for Toronto, railway history and Canada in general.  The Roundhouse site is perhaps the best-placed museum location in the world, close to major attractions and the railway.  Don't let Toronto Hydro destroy the city's culture!

Updates on the ONTC Sale

So far, there has been little comment after the General Chairperson's Association presentation to the all-party budgetary committee earlier in the week.  However, the GCA has issued a press release claiming that they are in possession of an email showing that the Ontario government had already planned to sell the ONTC in January 2012, more than two months before the announcement was made on March 23, and even before the Drummond Report had singled out the ONTC. 

Cutting through the emotive language and repeated capitalisation of "fire sale" in the release, clear links between the ONTC and BC Rail sales are shown.  I find it interesting that, so far, the only party interested in purchasing Ontario Northland is CN, the railway that purchased and dismantled BC Rail.

The minority Liberal government has agreed to many concessions in its budget to appease NDP opposition, but the Liberals remain committed to the sale of Ontario Northland.  What I would like to know is what is so special about the ONTC that it must be sold so quickly, without proper consultation?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Green Bank Sub Progress

 Over the past few weeks, I have built and installed switch stands in Heron Yard.  I used Osborn Model's CP switch stands and I found the kit fun to build, although also quite challenging as some of the wood was brittle and one piece broke.  Strictly speaking, this design of switch stand isn't accurate for Ontario Northland.  However, I do like the finished product. 
Yesterday, I was able to photograph the prototype on the Kawartha Lakes Railway.  I think that the model is a good representation of the real thing.  Little details make all the difference on a model railway.

ONTC GCA to make presentation to budgetary committee at Queen's Park

The ONTC unions make their case today in Toronto.  I wish them luck and I hope that the government changes its mind.
ONTC GCA to make presentation to budgetary committee at Queen's Park

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Fate of federal subsidy unclear

This is something that I have wondered about for a long time.  If you look at the bottom of the paper Northlander timetable, you will see a little message about federal funding for the Toronto-North Bay portion of the run.  I would still like to see the government publish a more concrete timetable for the divestment.
Fate of federal subsidy unclear - The North Bay Nugget

Thursday, June 07, 2012

VIA Rail cuts on the horizon, union warns

More speculation that cuts might be coming to VIA.  In many ways, the national passenger operator is struggling with a split personality: it must be an efficient commuter shuttle in the Corridor while also providing long-distance service in other parts of Canada.  Will there be cuts?  We shall have to wait and see.
VIA Rail cuts on the horizon, union warns - thestar.com

Call out to stop ONTC sale

Whether it is an attempt to save face, or a crazed obsession, the government is unwilling to stop the sale of the ONTC, despite the fact that other privatisations have been stopped.
Call out to stop ONTC sale - Timmins Daily Press

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Track Guard!

Finally, a superhero for railfans!  Three kids are thinking of jumping the barriers at a level crossing, who will save them?

Track Guard!



So, it's not the Avengers and it lacks the immediate punch of some other level crossing safety ads, but this fun clip should help you remember that trains aren't very forgiving.

Fedeli to Bartolucci: No savings to be found in sale of ONTC

The two sides dig in and defend their positions.  The one key piece of information is that the ONTC now has a death date: March 31, 2013 (the end of the fiscal year).
Fedeli to Bartolucci: No savings to be found in sale of ONTC - The North Bay Nugget

Northern leaders will have to get on board to save ONTC

A case of thinking outside the box.  Protest, but also offer more to the government.
Northern leaders will have to get on board to save ONTC - The Sudbury Star

Another Meeting to Save the ONTC

On 10 June at 1pm, MP Charlie Angus and MPP John Vanthof will hold a meeting at the Englehart Arena to discuss next steps towards saving the ONTC.  More details can be found here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Government preventing ONTC from working well

Brian Kelly, spokesman for the ONTC unions, hits back at government claims that the ONTC is beyond saving.
Government preventing ONTC from working well - The Sudbury Star

Monday, June 04, 2012

A Lucky CN Shot

This past weekend, I was travelling on Highway 401 when I happened to pass a fast moving CN freight (I later learned that it was train 372) at Whitby.  What really caught my eye was the second locomotive, CN 1433, a GMD1u.  The locomotives were once common, especially in the Prairies, but have disappeared in recent years.  This was a real treat as I had never seen one before and it showed the advantage of being a passenger in a car - you have safe access to your camera!

Earlier in the day, I stopped by the CP Toronto Yard to see if the strike backlog was being cleared.  The yard was very full, but there wasn't much activity except for a few switchers.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Appeal to Save #219


 The Ontario Northland Railway has put steam locomotive #219 up for sale and the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum in Capreol has launched an appeal to try and save the locomotive.  If this appeal fails, it is likely that #219 will be sold as scrap metal.

The appeal is for pledges so that an offer can be submitted to the ONR for the purchase of #219.  Please help this cause if you can and help save northern Ontario's railway history.  More information is available by contacting the museum at: info@normhc.ca or by calling (705) 858-5050.

Before languishing in Cochrane's freight yard, rusting into the ground, #219 was owned by the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway (the predecessor of the ONR), Normetal Mines and ACMIES Ltd.  The locomotive was built in 1907 by the Montreal Locomotive Works.  This wonderful piece of engineering deserves better than to be melted down.  Please act.

Fatal shooting at Toronto's Eaton shopping centre

I don't want to be cynical, or insensitive, but Toronto was due for a big shooting.  On Boxing Day 2005, only one block north of the Eatons Centre, a gangland gun battle took place on the street, killing one and injuring six bystanders - all innocent.  This new incident, in Toronto's most iconic mall has killed one and injured seven, including a child. 

Canada rarely makes the international news, but when it does it is always for the wrong reasons.  This event is a case in point as Canada has made the BBC front page.  While the article does state that gun control introduced in the 1970s has reduced gun crime, it does not mention how the current government is chipping away at that control by abolishing and destroying the Long Gun Registry (a database strongly supported by the police for helping to solve gun crime).  Toronto is increasingly feeling like a big American city - in more ways than one would like to see.
BBC News - Fatal shooting at Toronto's Eaton shopping centre

Friday, June 01, 2012

CAPT Joins Mayors and Rides the ONR to North Bay

Here is the email sent today by the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains, listing the comprehensive media coverage that the North Bay rally attracted this week.
CAPT Joins Mayors and Rides the ONR to North Bay

Video of the North Bay Rally

Youtube user kayjayad posted video footage of the ONTC rally at the North Bay station this past week:

Ontario Northland train 'a blessing'

A lot of media space has been given to the economic case surrounding the divestment of the ONTC.  However, little space has been given to the human element - the people who will be affected when the trains stop.  In the last few days, a few testimonies have appeared, showing how ordinary people will be hurt by the government's plans.
Ontario Northland train 'a blessing' - The Sudbury Star

CP trains could be running by Friday

Thanks to an accelerated parliamentary process, the back to work legislation concerning the strike at CP Rail was given royal assent overnight.  CP Reported that it would be operational as of 6.45am (Eastern Time) this morning.
CP trains could be running by Friday - CBC News