New Deal for Northern Ontario

About the New Deal

Map of area affected by the New Deal
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The New Deal for Northern Ontario will preserve and enhance transportation and other infrastructure in Ontario’s North. This infrastructure is vital to job creation and economic development in the region.

The initiative calls for transferring ownership of the railroad and other assets of the provincially-held Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) to a new ports authority to be operated under the Canada Marine Act. This will ensure that critical infrastructure assets are kept in public hands for the benefit of all stakeholders. The first step in this process was completed with the creation of The James Bay & Lowlands Ports Trustee Corporation. 

ONTC operations will be strengthened to ensure that they are economically sustainable, thereby preserving transportation services and hundreds of existing jobs in the North.

The plan will create thousands of jobs by providing access to the massive Ring of Fire mineral deposits in the James Bay Lowlands. A new Ring of Fire rail line will be designed and built to ship thousands of tons per day of chromite, nickel and other minerals and finished products to markets around the world.

Rail is by far the most economic and environmentally friendly solution to access these resources. The new line, which will follow a viable right of way already secured by Canada Chrome Corporation, will connect mining operations in the Ring of Fire to the existing railway network.

The New Deal was developed in response to the Ontario government’s March 23, 2012 decision to divest the ONTC, which was followed by the shutdown of ONTC’s Northlander passenger train service on September 28, 2012.

The ONTC has played a significant role in transportation and economic development in Northeastern Ontario for more than a century. Ontario Northland employs more than 950 workers and supports over 1100 pensioners in Northeastern Ontario, and has an estimated annual economic impact of almost $210 million in the region.

The New Deal has the unanimous support of ONTC’s employees and enjoys strong support from other stakeholders including First Nations communities, Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Jay Aspin, Northern Ontario communities, and mining and various business interests, among others.

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