Future is with rails, not cars – by John R. Hunt (North Bay Nugget – March 5, 2013)


NORTH BAY – The battle to save the ONR continues. It is too important to leave it to all the well-meaning politicians and municipal leaders. The people must do their part.

So, do not throw away Monday’s Nugget. If southern Ontario’s blockheads, politicians and people are to be convinced, then everyone must get into the act. Check Monday’s paper and you will see that Maria Calabrese has written an article full of dynamite stuff that should convince many in southern Ontario to think again. It includes research and facts. This article could be the basis for an effective campaign to change southern thinking. Various municipal leaders and politicians are fighting to save the ONR. The best proposal is to create a port authority. It has to be sold and there is little evidence that these distinguished citizens could sell a hamburg to a starving man. It is up to the people.

Look at Calabrese’s article. She interviewed Linda Savory-Gordon, a professor of community development at Algoma University. Too many dismiss professors as idealistic eggheads. Savory-Gordon is concerned with human development and survival.

Most important, the article contains dynamite facts. Calabrese quotes an engineering company which has studied the costs.

A road into the Ring of Fire will cost $1 billion. A railroad will cost $1.6 billion. But the cost of hauling ore or concentrates will be six to 10 times lower by rail than it will be by truck.

At Timmins, a refinery has been closed with several hundred job losses because of Ontario’s lunatic Hydro rates. The concentrates are being shipped to Québec.

The minerals from the Ring of Fire may be uneconomic on the world market because of transportation costs. The southern Ontario mentality which dominates all three political parties has to be broken. The ordinary Northerner must participate. He or she must bombard columnists, commentators, politicians and friends and relatives in southern Ontario with the facts. The Ontario Northland railway has never been a burden upon the south. It can be an important mechanism for producing revenue that will benefit all of Ontario.

Savory-Gordon also talks immense common sense. She points out that Ontario is falling behind the rest of the developed world. Ontario has tied itself to cars and trucks while more intelligent societies have developed mass transportation based upon railways.

Britain and France are now linked by the Chunnel. European trains are now competing with intercity air services. The future is now with trains, not Henry Ford’s products.

Read this article and scan it. Make lists of the e-mail addresses of opinion makers and politicians. Send them the whole article or boil it down to salient facts. Make it short and snappy but get the message out. What happens in Northern Ontario is of vital importance to the future prosperity of the entire province.

This is an opportunity for the ordinary citizen to do something.

Do not leave it to others. By doing something for yourself, you are helping all of the North.

John R. Hunt, [email protected]

For the original version of this article, please go to the North Bay Nugget website: http://www.nugget.ca/2013/03/05/future-is-with-rails-not-cars

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