Quite by chance, I managed to catch a heads-up that Ontario Today, the CBC's lunchtime radio show, was discussing the latest cuts to transport routes in northern Ontario. Obviously, the loss of the Northlander looms large (and the uncertainty around the entire ONTC), but the potential loss of the Algoma Central passenger service operated by CN between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst is also worrying. To make matters worse, Bearskin Airlines has just announced the cancellation of several of its routes connecting the north to Ottawa.
The guest on the show was MP Charlie Angus, who has long called for better transport links in the north. Much of the discussion focused on the poor quality of northern roads, the double-standard favouring transport links in southern Ontario and the high cost of transport in the north. The discussion also asked a very interesting question: have northern and southern Ontario ever been so disconnected from each other? From a transportation perspective, based on the research for Call of the Northland, I would argue that this is indeed the worst period ever. My book becomes more relevant with every passing day.
You can listen to the show again on the Ontario Today website.
Note: I wish this were a joke, but I don't do April Fools.