Northern plan ‘making progress’ — Gravelle – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – June 30, 2016)

Michael Gravelle, the provincial minister of Northern Development and Mines, said Wednesday the province’s plan for the North is working.

“Our government is building on the North by driving a competitive economy, by supporting people and communities, by renewing and expanding modern infrastructure, and by supporting a healthy environment,” he said to a packed crowd at the Caruso Club. “We’re working hard for Northern Ontario. In fact, everything my ministry does is with the intention of meeting our growth plan commitments. Five years into the plan, we’re making progress.”

The minister spoke at the Sudbury landmark as part of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s president’s series of luncheons. Gravelle said his government has taken a made-in-the-North approach to boost the economy and keep northerners competitive.

In fact, since 2003, the provincial government has spent more than $1.1 billion on more than 7,400 projects, leveraging an additional $3.97 billion and creating more than 28,000 jobs. In Sudbury, the province has spent more than $206 million on 1,179 projects.

“We’re giving northern businesses a competitive advantage through our commitment to the permanent Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program, reflecting a $120 million annual contribution,” Gravelle said. “The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, with an annual budget of approximately $100 million, is investing in northern industry, start-ups, innovations and good ideas, and in so doing is supporting thousands of good paying jobs in the region.”

Gravelle also said his government is committed to nurturing Sudbury’s mining sector.

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