Deadline looms for multimodal transportation input – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – July 7, 2016)

Northern Ontario residents are being encouraged to shout out the need for more than just roads to be included in a multimodal transportation study currently underway by the province.

The Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines are developing the strategy for Northern Ontario to develop a blueprint that will set a course for transportation initiatives over the next 25 years.

The initiative is designed to examine improvements for the movement of people and goods throughout the Canadian Shield. The study, led by consultants IBI Group, have already developed a number of draft reports examining transportation requirements or economic development, a geographic and policy context working paper, the effects of transportation on climate change, a socio-economic report and a survey of the needs for commercial vehicles and passengers.

Local stakeholders participated in a consultation seminar in Toronto last week where the technical report was presented and feedback was provided by participants.

The concensus was there was a lot of research done on the road network system in Northern Ontario but participants raised concern about the need to incorporate and strongly consider rail and water transportation.

Linda Savory-Gordon, co-chair of the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) said the presentation included an inventory of the transportation systems that already exist.

However, it failed to note the infrastructure that still exists and can be accessed but is not currently being used.

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