ONTC President and CEO Paul Goulet issued the following statement today on the news of the ONTC's future announced today by NDM Minister Gravelle in North Bay today.
Goulet was unavailable for comment as he is off due to health issues.
In response to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle’s announcement on ONTC transformation.
“Today the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle, announced that the province would move forward with a plan to transform the ONTC to ensure sustainable employment, continued economic growth, and a strong transportation and telecommunications network in Northern Ontario.
Minister Gravelle’s announcement that the province intends to keep ONTC’s motor coach, rail freight and refurbishment business lines, as well as the Polar Bear Express, in public hands brings a welcome end to the uncertainty of the last year and reflects a renewed commitment to our organization.
The province’s plan to invest more than $23 million to purchase new, accessible motor coaches for its bus line and refurbish passenger rail coaches for the Polar Bear Express means that real transformation and restructuring of the ONTC will continue.
Minister Gravelle also announced that the province has reached an agreement with Bell Aliant to purchase Ontera, the telecommunications subsidiary of the ONTC.
I want to thank Ontera employees for their significant contribution to the Ontario Northland organization and to the region. Ontera brought advanced telecommunications services and connectivity to countless northern communities and provided an unsurpassed local presence in support of the service.
However, Ontera has also faced challenges over the last number of years.
As Ontera joins Bell Aliant, we are hopeful that combined with new investments, Ontera’s legacy of achievement and excellence will continue to thrive under new ownership in the years ahead.
Over the next few months we will be working with employees and the purchaser on the transition.”