Mr. Speaker, I am also rising to table petitions on the Algoma passenger train.
These petitioners point out that passenger services have a major effect on the tourism economy in the area. While we might be tempted to think that is limited to tourists who hunt or fish, there are many other ways that passenger services benefit the regional economy.
In fact, the writer-photography team of Joanie and Gary McGuffin, from Goulais River, and Sault Ste. Marie artist and art historian Michael Burtch tell us that without passenger services on the line, the award-winning documentary film, Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven, could not have been made. Sadly, people inspired by the film to visit this breathtaking area are finding they cannot take the train to follow in the footsteps of the Group of Seven.
This confirms the point the petitioners make when they tell us that passenger service is necessary for the economic well-being of the region. They say the train is a safer way to have all-season access to the remote wilderness and that any alternatives cited by the government are not reliable, safe, or year-round.
These are mainly industrial roads that are not maintained for passenger vehicles or patrolled for safety.
The petitioners call on the government to put the Algoma passenger train back in service, so it can help people who want to follow in the footsteps of our famous artists and support a vital tourist economy in the process.
The petitioners are from Sault Ste. Marie, Echo Bay, Massey, Desbarats, Bruce Mines, Thessalon, Richards Landing, Garden River, Aweres Township, Blind River, Searchmont, and Toronto.