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Huron Central Railway begins $33.3 rehabilitation project called essential for northern Ontario

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Huron Central Railway begins $33.3 rehabilitation project called essential for northern Ontario

August 10, 2011 - 10:35
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SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, Aug. 10, 2011 (CNW) -Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, David Orazietti, Member of Provincial Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Mario Brault, President of Huron Central Railway (HCR), today marked the start of construction for the railway rehabilitation of portions of the 288km rail line from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie, including a branch from McKerrow to Espanola.

"Our government is pleased to invest up to $15 million in this project from the Building Canada Fund," said MP Hayes. "Building an efficient transportation system is a priority for our government. Projects such as this one grow the economy by creating jobs, sustaining industries and providing efficient, low-cost rail access to local businesses."

"The McGuinty government understands that Huron Central Railway is essential to retaining and expanding present day business operations in Northeastern Ontario, which is why we took the lead and committed an additional $15 million to save this rail line, as a priority in Ontario's Budget," said MPP Orazietti. "The Province's growth plan is protecting existing jobs and creating new work in a number of diverse sectors that range from this railway line and the local companies it serves, such as Essar Steel Algoma, to renewable energy businesses that are investing in the Sault because of our landmark clean energy programs."

"I am pleased to be here today and privileged to be part of this exciting and long-awaited announcement regarding the launch of Huron Central Railway's rehabilitation project," said Mr. Brault. "The fact that this event is taking place today is a direct result of the tremendous amount of faith and persistence from all the stakeholders involved."

"The continuation of operations on this rail corridor between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury is essential to Northern Ontario. The collaboration developed to ensure the necessary upgrades occur are a shining example of how a public/private, multi-level governmental partnership can benefit our area," said Debbie Amaroso, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie. "Congratulations to all of those who worked so diligently to see this become a reality."

The capital rehabilitation of the Huron Central Railway will ensure its long-term safety, efficiency and capacity by upgrading it to North-American standards. The rail line connecting Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie is a significant component of the transportation network in Northern Ontario. It provides direct freight rail access to at least 26 communities and First Nations and indirect rail access to numerous other Northeastern Ontario communities.

This investment will offer an opportunity for industrial growth and new jobs and establish the foundation for the expansion of industries and the development of new ones. Improving this rail line will also ensure long-term environmental benefits by reducing truck traffic as well as long-term safety on the existing line.

The total cost of the project is approximately $33.3 million. The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario will each contribute up to $15 million. The Huron Central Railway will provide the remaining funding. This funding was announced on September 24, 2010.

In this period of global economic uncertainty, the Government of Canada continues to take action to stimulate our economy, help create jobs, and have a more prosperous future.

Partnering with businesses and communities in Northern Ontario is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create and support jobs for Ontario families and to strengthen local economies.