News Alert Update: Ontario Northland Railway awarded $81-million Go-Transit contract
|Nugget File Photo
|Work is carried out in the ONR shops recently. Ontario Northland Railway secured an $81-million Go-Transit contract.
Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 09:00
- Ontario Northland Railway has secured an $81-million contract to refurbish up to 121 Go Transit commuter coaches, guaranteeing the future of the corporation, The Nugget has learned.
"This secures the future of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission for the next seven or eight years," said Brian Stevens, president of the CAW Local 103 Thursday.
"We're looking forward to the new work, the new energy and the new jobs," he said.
The ONR was up against a firm in News Brunswick for the contract.
It was reported earlier that Industrial Rail Services Inc. of Moncton bid $95,000 lower than the ONR, but Go Transit told The Nugget Thursday that wasn't the case once the contracts were studied. The ONR bid turned out to be the lowest.
Stevens was confident once Go-Transit reviewed the bids that Ontario Northland would come out on top because it offered the best skill sets, infrastructure and location.
The contract is a vindication for employees whose jobs and livelihoods have been uncertain since the former Tory government was seeking to privatize the Crown corporation, which employs 600 people in North Bay, Stevens said.
"This proves the ONTC is an asset for the province," Stevens said.
The contract will create 30 new jobs in North Bay and at least 10 more in Cochrane, where the work currently being done in the city will be moved.
"Ontario Northland's team worked long and hard to put a competitive bid together and they are to be congratulated," said Royal Poulin, commission chairman and chief executive officer.
"This is a significant step forward for Ontario Northland in ensuring long-term stability and viability for our workforce," he said.
Roy Hains, ONTC executive vice-president of operations and service improvement, thanked the City of North Bay and its SWOT team for their support during the bidding process.
Work is expected to begin almost immediately.
Nugget.ca will update this story throughout the day.
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