News Vanthof doubts Ford will bring back Northlander SHARE ON: Rocco Frangione, contributor, Monday, Apr. 15th, 2019 The Ford government is not getting a passing grade from John Vanthof, the New Democrat MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane for its budget. Vanthof says the budget fails people in many ways and one obvious area is the Northlander. Vanthof says you have to look deep into the budget to see that the Tories say they’re still looking at passenger rail service in the North. However, the New Democrat questions the Progressive Conservative government’s ability to deliver passenger rail. Vanthof notes that in this part of Northeastern Ontario rail falls under the ONTC which is funded by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. But Vanthof says the Tories are reducing funding to the MNDM by millions of dollars. “They can talk about it, but I don’t believe they have any intention of funding passenger rail in the North,” he said. Vanthof says Premier Doug Ford has made it very clear that he is funding subways in Toronto and Vanthof has no issue with Toronto getting transportation money. He says the millions of people in Toronto need a transportation system to get to work. But where Vanthof puts on the brakes is when Ford says he’s prepared to fund all of Toronto’s transit needs if other governments don’t step up. “That’s going to be at the detriment of all kinds of transportation across Ontario,” Vanthof said. “We are also part of this province and we also provide big incomes in Ontario and rightfully we should have equal services,” Vanthof said. Vanthof says Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli promised passenger rail during last spring’s election as did Premier Doug Ford and the NDP. “We’re going to keep pushing the provincial government until they do it or we’re going to (be the ones) to provide adequate transportation services in the North,” Vanthof said.