Ontario Northland Transportation Commission

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The ONTC is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario with headquarters in North Bay providing passenger rail (Polar Bear Express), freight rail, motor coach (bus), and refurbishment services.

News Releases

FAQs

What’s the status of the ONTC transformation?

Ontario will continue to operate motor coach (bus), Polar Bear Express, freight rail, and refurbishment services of the ONTC as a government-owned transportation company.
The province will make strategic new investments to ensure ONTC’s transportation services and infrastructure continues to support economic growth in northeastern Ontario.

The investments include more than $23 million over three years to purchase new motor coaches for its bus line and to refurbish rail coaches for the Polar Bear Express. This will maintain and improve vital transportation services and provide new work for the ONTC refurbishment division.

Ontario has also reached an agreement with Bell Aliant to purchase Ontera. Proceeds from the sale include $6 million in cash and will result in long-term revenue to ONTC estimated at $10 million.

The province and Bell Aliant will each commit $15.1 million as part of a $30.2 million public-private investment in telecommunications infrastructure in northeastern Ontario.

The announcement is the result of extensive consultation with Aboriginal, municipal, industry and labour leaders and provides much needed certainty to the communities of northeastern Ontario.

Will ONTC passenger transportation services continue?

Yes. As transformation efforts move forward, ONTC will continue to operate bus services under public ownership.  The province also remains committed to continuing the Polar Bear Express train service between Cochrane and Moosonee.

What about refurbishment services?

The province also intends to refurbish rail coaches for the Polar Bear Express. This will maintain and improve vital transportation services and provide new work for the ONTC refurbishment division.

Visit Ontario Northland online to learn more about the services provided by the ONTC.

Does this mean the Northlander will return to service?

No. The Northlander will not return to service.

ONTC will continue to operate bus services under public ownership.  The province also remains committed to continuing the Polar Bear Express train service between Cochrane and Moosonee.  The province also intends to refurbish rail coaches for the Polar Bear Express. This will maintain and improve vital transportation services and provide new work for the ONTC refurbishment division.

What about Ontera customers now that it is being sold to Bell Aliant? Will services remain the same?

Bell Aliant will continue to operate as Ontera providing residential, business and wholesale services for local and long distance voice, internet and data services.

Bell Aliant is one of North America’s largest regional telecommunications providers and is committed to providing high quality service to northerners and growing their business.

Telecommunications services and rates are regulated by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and any changes would be communicated well in advance. 

Ontera has a CRTC obligation to provide basic services as the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) in five northern communities – Iroquois Falls, Temagami, Marten River/Tilden Lake, Moosonee, and Moose Factory. These service obligations will continue to be met by Bell Aliant. 

The province and Bell Aliant will each commit $15.1 million as part of a $30.2 million public-private investment in telecommunications infrastructure in northeastern Ontario.

Contact Information

You may contact the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines via phone, fax, mail or e-mail.
To view contact information for a specific ministry division or program, visit INFO-GO.

Phone

General Inquiry - 1-705-472-4500
Toll Free - 1-800-363-7512

Fax

General Inquiry - 1-705-476-5598

Mail

Sudbury Office
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
159 Cedar Street
Sudbury, ON
P3E 6A5
Canada

E-mail

Ministry - ndmminister@ontario.ca