Hudak promises change for the North – by Wayne Snider (Timmins Daily Press – July 15, 2011)

Wayne Snider is the city editor for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at news@thedailypress.ca.

“I understand why people would be cynical. For years the government has put
the wish list of Southern Ontario special interest groups ahead of Northern
Ontario….We need to demonstrate to all Ontarians the vital need to develop
the Ring of Fire….This is a once in a century opportunity.”
(PC Leader Tim Hudak – July 15, 2011)

www.changebook.ca/north

Tory leader says Kidd Creek smelter shutdown was avoidable

Tim Hudak says the closure of the smelter at the Kidd Creek Metallurgical Site was completely avoidable. It was a matter of government priorities.

The provincial Progressive Conservative Leader unveiled his election platform for Northern Ontario this week. Dubbed changebook North, Hudak claims his party will create an environment that will allow the region to prosper.

High hydro costs and taxation, he said, are two of the reasons that companies like Xstrata Copper take jobs out of province. “(Premier Dalton) McGuinty failed to provide the leadership necessary to keep those jobs,” Hudak said in an interview with The Daily Press on Friday. “This was a catastrophic loss for not only Timmins, but for all of Ontario.

“We want to make Northern Ontario attractive for investment. High taxes and hydro rates have moved Ontario to the bottom of the list for investment.”

Noting contracts for green energy plans “were way too expensive” and helped cause hydro costs to skyrocket, Hudak promised to lower energy costs for families. This includes removing HST from electricity and home heating, and taking the Debt Retirement Charge off hydro bills.

He said the party consulted extensively with Northerners before creating the platform.

“I understand why people would be cynical. For years the government has put the wish list of Southern Ontario special interest groups ahead of Northern Ontario,” he said.

“All of our proposals had to pass three tests before it became policy. Does it originate in the North? Does it protect the Northern way of life? Does it keep wealth in the North?”

It’s important for all residents of Ontario, he said, to realize the potential of the North.

“We need to demonstrate to all Ontarians the vital need to develop the Ring of Fire (mineral discovery),” he said. “This is a once in a century opportunity.

“We need to work with First Nations and municipalities. We must make sure we can capture all the jobs possible from this opportunity.

“In 2001, Ontario was ranked first overall in mining. Today we have plunged to 19th (worldwide) and are just seventh in Canada. We will remove barriers buy cutting red tape, getting energy costs under control, ensuring fair and strong land tenure, and developing partnerships to bring the investments in infrastructure that a strong mining industry needs.”

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.thedailypress.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3216335

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