The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) is calling on Minister of Northern Development and Mines Rick Bartolucci to suspend the planned divestment of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) assets and work with community and business leaders on a long term solution.
“With Ontario’s unstable political climate, the state of the economy overall, and the number of opportunities available for the government to preserve or enhance ONTC as a public asset, now is an excellent time for Minister Bartolucci and his staff to return to the table with business leaders and community leaders to hammer out a plan for ONTC that works for everyone,” said Al Spacek, president of FONOM, in a press release.
The federation has heard from a number of business leaders who rely on ONTC freight rail to get their products to market and municipalities whose citizens are concerned about the impacts of privatization of Northern Ontario’s inter-city public transportation.
“We are hearing very clearly, the government handling of Ontario Northland is hurting jobs and residents in Northern Ontario,” he said. “We are asking Minister Bartolucci to end the back-room dealing over ONTC’s future, to stop the sell off and work with the stakeholders who are impacted by these decisions, before it’s too late.”