The province set a new tone in yesterday's financial outlook, emphasizing investment rather than cost-cutting — and some are hoping that shift away from austerity could signal a future for Ontario Northland.

The government-owned transportation commission remains in limbo more than a year after the province announced it would be broken up and sold.

For Brian Kelly, any talk of transportation investment from the province is a good sign.

The spokesperson for the union that represents workers at Ontario Northland said he wants some specifics on whether transportation in northern Ontario is part of that investment.

“If you are changing the way you are doing things throughout the province,  then that means the whole province,” he said.

Kelly said the lingering uncertainty over whether Ontario Northland is still for sale could soon affect jobs.

He said it's been difficult for the division that refurbishes rail cars to secure future contracts without knowing its own future.

Earlier this week at Queen's Park, Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle maintained that divestment is not the only option for Ontario Northland — but he didn't elaborate on what else is being considered, or when a decision will be made.