THUNDER BAY – On October 31 2013, a fire burnt the James Street Bridge in Thunder Bay. The bridge was the fast connection point between Fort William First Nation and Thunder Bay. The bridge is owned by CN Rail who acquired the bridge as a part of the company’s long ago merger with the Grand Trunk Railroad.
The agreement between the company and the then City of Fort William is that the company would maintain the bridge in perpetuity.
Since the fire, CN Rail quickly moved to ensure its trains could cross the bridge, but has left pedestrians and vehicles behind.
Meetings between the City of Thunder Bay and CN Rail have led no where toward getting the bridge re-opened to vehicles and pedestrians.
Today, Tony McGuire a local videographer and film maker is headed to the James Street Bridge to share a message from people in the area, via Christmas carolling that it is time for CN Rail to get the bridge open again.
McGuire has explained that youth in Fort William First Nation have expressed concerned that the bridge closure could impact them at Christmas time.
Residents on Fort William First Nation have seen their access to emergency services increased greatly. Accidents on Mission Road have caused serious injury to many people over the past year.
Getting the James Street Bridge re-opened to vehicle and pedestrian traffic would solve many of the problems.
The politicians have been doing what politicians do best, talking. Perhaps now it is time at Christmas for the voices of the people, especially the children to be heard.
Tony McGuire will be at the James Street Bridge filming the Christmas Carollers at noon today in Thunder Bay.