TORONTO – Last week the Ontario government announced that that the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission will stay in public hands. That ended two years of uncertainty for commission employees living in North Bay, ON. The ONTC telecommunications division will be sold to Bell Aliant.
The government also promised more than $23 million in strategic investments in the commission. Among them are new motor coaches for its bus lines and refurbishing the rail coaches for the Polar Bear Express.
Toronto-based KWG Resources, that has exploration interests in the Ring of Fire and favours a rail solution for hauling concentrates, lauded the provincial decision. Said KWG president Frank Smeenk, “One of the unique blessings of the location of the Ring of Fire discovery in Northern Ontario is the opportunity to exploit it with the multi-billion dollar legacy infrastructure assets of the Ontario Northland Railroad. This is very substantial capital that need not be spent or amortized in fixing very long term and large tonnage transportation costs. It is a huge competitive advantage."
The ONTC website is at OntarioNorthland.ca.