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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Ontario government reveals next steps of Ontario Northland Transportation divestiture


Late last week, Ontario government officials provided an update on the next steps in their plan to divest the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC).

The provincial government announced in March it would divest the ONTC because of an “inability to continue providing ever-increasing subsidies that have reached almost $100 million.”

Following are the next steps of the plan, according to Ontario officials:

• The last day of Northlander passenger-rail service will be Sept. 28. Bus service to affected communities will continue to run as usual.

• Polar Bear Express train service will continue as usual and the Niska I ferry will transfer to the Owen Sound Transportation Co. with no changes to service.

• Ontera, a telecommunications system operating in northeast Ontario, will be the first of ONTC’s business lines to be put up for sale. Infrastructure Ontario will invite interested buyers to submit their qualifications.

• The Ministry of the Environment has granted an environmental assessment exemption for all activities of the divestment process. The ONTC will continue to comply with Ontario’s regulatory requirements.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/20/2012