The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS – Talk about timing. Just one day before the McGuinty Liberal government was set to pull the plug on the Northlander train, it delivered another kick in the groin to this region.
On Thursday, the government announced it is cancelling overnight stays at 10 provincial parks beginning next year.
Six of those 10 parks – Ivanhoe Lake in Foleyet, Greenwater in Cochrane, Rene Brunelle in Kapuskasing, Fushimi Lake kin Hearst, The Shoals in Chapleau and Tidewater in Moosonee – happen to be in or around Cochrane District.
The government, in its desire to “modernize its business”, suggested these parks are being converted to day-use-only because they have low visitation rates. Are we talking about the same parks here?
Surely, anyone who has sought to go camping at Ivanhoe Lake or Rene Brunelle would not describe them as underutilized. If anything, they are among the most popular provincial parks in this region. With the choice of provincial park camp sites in this area virtually narrowed down, good luck getting a camping spot at Kettle Lakes next summer.
By eliminating these camping opportunities, especially in this one region, the province is essentially giving tourists less reason to plan an overnight stay in Northeastern Ontario.
Should we be surprised?
This is the same government that is currently dismantling railway services in this region, that thinks protecting caribou at the expense of forestry jobs is a good trade off, that Northern residents are less privileged from visiting lakes within their own region, and believes it’s up to mining companies to do the government’s job in resolving Native claims on Crown land.
Whenever, the McGuinty Liberal government takes a dump on Northeastern Ontario, people here begin to question whether it’s our own fault. We keep electing the NDP and people think maybe if we elected a Liberal they would be nicer to us.
In all likelihood, they probably would be nicer.
But in light of what has already occurred in the last nine years of Liberal rule, that would be like inviting the classroom bully to your birthday party in hopes he might stop beating you up at recess.
That’s the route for unprincipled wimps.
For the rest of us who have integrity and self-respect, you don’t reward someone who is treating you badly.
Aside from the rich wealth of minerals we have which they feel the whole province should benefit from, it is clear the Liberals don’t give a crap about this riding, the people who live here or the Northern way of life.
Our only hope is the McGuinty government gets turfed in the next provincial election. Until that happens, we’re just going to keep getting kicked.
For the original of this column, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2012/09/28/north-kicked-in-the-groin-again