ONTC assets 'exciting' for forward-looking investors
Sudbury economist predicts CN Railway will be a main suitor for Ontario Northland
Posted: Jul 26, 2012 1:56 PM ET
Last Updated: Jul 26, 2012 1:58 PM ET
An economist in Sudbury is putting his money on the Canadian National Railway to snap up part of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.
In March, the Ontario government announced the ONTC was losing too much money and said it would discontinue the Northlander passenger train service and sell off the rest.
Since then, about 30 investors have expressed interest in buying parts of the service.The province is still readying Ontario Northland Rail for sale. Dozens of parties have already expressed an interest in buying it. (CBC)
Economist David Robinson said CN tried to buy the Northlander rail route in the early 2000s, but the province wanted a guarantee that no jobs would be lost.
“It's freight that you want, so CN didn't play that time,” he said. “I'll give you ten-to-one CN is the main candidate [this time], because they stand to gain most.”
Robinson noted there is a lot to gain in rail freight. With oil prices high and climbing — plus climate change opening up access to resources in the high arctic — ONTC rail assets are lucrative to those looking to the future, he added.
“This is exciting property in lots of ways, even though I don't think the province knows what to do with it,” Robinson said. “And the province has admitted it doesn't know what to do with it.”
Officials with the province said they are not accepting bids at this time, as they are in a pre-market stage and are busy creating profiles for each of the divisions that will be put up for sale.
The grand chief of the Mushkegowuk Council said some First Nations communities are considering putting a bid in.
Stan Louttit said no formal proposal has been put forward yet, but “there's individual communities within this area who are taking a look with great interest in terms of what the ONTC divestiture might be able to provide to them in terms of a business opportunity or an economic opportunity."
Louttit was not able to provide more details, such as which parts of the ONTC the First Nations groups are considering for purchase.
Latest Sudbury News Headlines
- Rising water levels keeps Wawa residents on alert
- People in Wawa are keeping a close eye on the skies today now that a flood warning is in effect for the Michipicoten River watershed. more »
- Avoid tragedy with working CO detector: fire official
- As more Sudbury area residents head out to recreational properties this time of year, the Greater Sudbury Fire Services says failing to have a working carbon monoxide detector at camp could result in tragedy. more »
- Redefining 'local' food sits well with Sudbury advocate
- The head of a local food co-operative in Sudbury is glad to hear the federal government is changing the way it defines local food. more »
- Hwy 69 blasting to slow drivers south of Sudbury
- Blasting along Highway 69 could cause traffic delays this summer as work crews begin to widen another 28 km of highway to four lanes. more »
Top News Headlines
- Harper 'not consulted' about Duffy Senate expense repayment
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that not only did he not know about his chief of staff's "gift" to repay Senator Mike Duffy's expenses before the story broke in the media, he was not consulted and did not sign off on Nigel Wright's decision to write a personal cheque. more »
- 2 infants confirmed among dead of Oklahoma tornado
- Rescue workers raced to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives, including those of 10 children. more »
- 'You will see him again in heaven,' Sharlene Bosma tells daughter
- Sharlene Bosma told more than 1,000 people at the public memorial service for her slain husband, Tim Bosma, about the love they shared. more »
- Senators' Alfredsson on defeating Penguins: 'Probably not'
- The Pittsburgh Penguins scored four times in the third period and six unanswered goals in all to blow out the Ottawa Senators 7-3 and take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semi-final series. more »