Archive | Northern Ontario Politics

Romano critic of Northern jobs, Ring of Fire – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – June 9, 2017)

http://www.saultstar.com/

Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown made the announcement at Queen’s Park on Friday, updating critic roles for his caucus.

“As our newest MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, I’m looking forward to having Ross Romano work hard every day for Northern Ontario families and as part of the PC caucus,” said Brown in a press release. “Ross won a riding that the Ontario PCs have not won in 30 years due to his hard work and commitment. Given his background in serving his community as a city councillor, I know he will dedicate his efforts at Queen’s Park to bring about positive change.”

Romano, whose resignation as a city councillor will be formally accepted by council Monday, said he welcomes his new role, especially because his campaign focused on the need for good paying jobs in Northern Ontario and the need to move forward with infrastructure to prepare for the Ring of Fire development.

He expects to be formally sworn in as the city’s MPP in the next few weeks. Continue Reading →

Ontario North’s woes stump ministers – by Gord Young (North Bay Nugget – May 13, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Provincial cabinet ministers were unable to offer municipal leaders any solutions Friday to the long-time challenge of growing Northern Ontario.

Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault and Natural Resources Minister Kathryn McGarry participated in the “bear pit session” at the annual Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference in North Bay, where they were asked about how to bridge the gap between the Greater Toronto Area, which is experiencing tremendous growth, and the North, where the population is declining in most areas.

Unfortunately, the three couldn’t provide a cure-all for the North’s woes. “We can do a lot more to talk about promoting growth and expansion in Northern Ontario by utilizing the facilities that we already have,” said Thibeault, referring to post-secondary institutions such as Canadore College and Nipissing University. Continue Reading →

Report urges new thinking for Northern Ontario – by Staff (Sudbury Star – May 9, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

New thinking is needed if Northern Ontario is ever going to restructure and reinvigorate its economy, a new report from the Northern Policy Institute suggests. Author Charles Conteh, a Brock University professor, said in his study, Economic Zones of Northern Ontario: City-Regions and Industrial Corridors, that Northern communities must be given the tools to control their economic development.

He said the top-down approach of senior levels of government towards Northern Ontario hasn’t — and won’t — work. “Due to the significant diversity between communities in Northern Ontario, policies and planning aimed at addressing specific economic challenges are more valuable than one-size-fits-all, top-down programs,” Conteh said.

“Economic zones offer an opportunity for upper levels of government to frame a new kind of partnership guided by the priorities of communities.” Conteh said it’s a mistake to think of Northern Ontario as one or two regions, or as five urban-centred regions, because they do not reflect the reality of northern diversity. Continue Reading →

Column: ‘Quick fix’ budget leaves Ontario’s North behind – by John Vanthof (Sudbury Star – May 3, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

John Vanthof is the NDP MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane.

The Kathleen Wynne government released its latest budget last Thursday, and it is disappointing to say the least. The first thing that struck me was the Liberal government’s continued refusal to stop the sale of Hydro One. Their reasoning is disturbingly clear: The Liberals are using the one-time proceeds from the sale of Hydro One to balance the government’s books.

Even worse, the government has lost more than $1 billion of revenue; these funds are now going to private investors who have bought 30 per cent of Hydro One shares. Going forward, this revenue will continue to be lost every year to private interests, instead of funding the programs and services that Ontario taxpayers rely on.

While the government has proposed to lower the hydro rates by decreasing delivery charges, this plan is funded by the taxpayer through government borrowing. Ultimately, you and I will continue pay the full hydro bill and resulting interest on this government’s debts. Continue Reading →

LACK OF RING OF FIRE DEVELOPMENT AN EXAMPLE OF THE FAILURE OF LAZY ECONOMICS ACCORDING TO ONE NORTHERN MP [Charlie Angus] – by Aaron Mahoney (My North Bay Now – May 2, 2017)

http://www.mynorthbaynow.com/

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains reaffirmed that the federal government is still committed to the Ring of Fire project during a recent trip to North Bay. The Ring of Fire project is expected to generate nearly $2-billion in tax revenues and up to 5,500 full-time jobs in the first 10 years of mining activity according to reports.

Bains and Nipissing-Temiskaming MP Anthony Rota called the Ring of Fire a process that will take time. However, Ontario’s provincial budget was released last week and contained no mention of the Ring of Fire which has lead to questions about its future. Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus was recently in North Bay for his Got Your Back tour while he vies for the leadership of the federal NDP party, and was asked about the development near his neck of the woods.

Angus says the Ring of Fire is a perfect example of the failure of lazy economics by the Wynne and Trudeau governments by showing a complete lack of interest in developing the chromite project. He says there’s a couple of steps that need to be done first in order to get the Ring of Fire going. Continue Reading →

Ontario Grits have ‘abandoned’ Ring of Fire, opposition says – by Darren MacDonald (Sudbury Northern Life – May 1, 2017)

https://www.sudbury.com/

But Thibeault says nothing has changed, despite omission from budget

At one time it was almost in the news every week, but when the provincial Liberals released their budget April 27, there was nary a word about the Ring of Fire. Touted five years ago as a $60 billion asset that would create jobs across the North, the Liberals promised to commit $1 billion for infrastructure for the project during the 2014 election campaign.

Since then, there hasn’t been much news on the massive chromite project, and even less mention in the budget. “Not one word in 294 (budget) pages about the Ring of Fire,” is how NDP Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas put it this week.

She also pointed to budget cuts at the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, as did Nipissing PC MP Vic Fedeli. “After three years of promises, the Wynne government has completely abandoned this critical mining project,” Fedeli said about the budget. Continue Reading →

Budget missing Ring of Fire cash, says Conservative critic – by Leith Dunick (tbnewswatch.com – April 27, 2017)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

Ontario budget also guts Northern Development and Mines spending by $70 million, says Vic Fedeli

TORONTO – The Conservative’s finance critic has slammed the Ontario budget, saying it proves the governing Liberals have given up on Northern Ontario. Vic Fedeli said the budget, released on Thursday, includes a $70-million cut to Northern Development and Mines and the $1 billion promised for Ring of Fire infrastructure has mysteriously disappeared.

“The Ministry helps to establish mining operations all over Northern Ontario, creating good well-paying jobs that help to grow our Northern economy — obviously not a concern of this government,” Fedeli said.

“It came as a serious shock to see that this year’s budget removed all mention of the Ring of Fire. After three years of promises the Wynne government has completely abandoned this critical mining project,” Fedeli said. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario is Canada’s future; Conservative leadership candidate promises he will make Ring of Fire a national priority, boost regional health care – by Erin O’Toole (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – April 23, 2017)

http://www.chroniclejournal.com/

THIS week in Thunder Bay, I visited the Terry Fox memorial and was reminded of the tremendous determination of this iconic Canadian and the community spirit he continues to inspire three decades after his death. Canadians are a generous people who help our neighbours at home and have long played a role in helping around the world from Vimy Ridge to Kandahar.

Northern Ontarians have always gone the extra mile to answer the call of service to help their neighbours. Local leaders know the needs of their communities far better than bureaucrats in Ottawa. That’s why it’s time we empower Northern Ontario to set its own course and become a national economic driver once more.

From Kenora to Thunder Bay to Timmins, northerners know the needs of their communities and the tremendous potential of projects like the Ring of Fire. As an Ontario MP, I also recognize that the development of resources in our north not only creates jobs in this area of the province, but will benefit all Canadians through resource royalties and the addition of secondary processing jobs. Continue Reading →

Conservative leadership hopeful calls for federal support for Ring of Fire – by Matt Vis (tbnewswatch.com – April 20, 2017)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

Federal leadership candidate Erin O’Toole visits Thunder Bay, calls on Ottawa to make development of Ring of Fire a priority.

THUNDER BAY – Erin O’Toole views the Ring of Fire as a project of national significance that needs to receive more attention from Ottawa.

Visiting Thunder Bay on Wednesday, the federal Conservative leadership candidate said developing the potentially lucrative Northern Ontario mineral deposits would be a priority if he were to lead the country. “Infrastructure should not just be subways in a couple of cities in the country,” O’Toole said.

“This is what the federal government should do with infrastructure funding. It’s not just about transit in a few parts of the country. If we can help access jobs, resources, opportunity, that’s where the federal government has a role in roads, access to resources and intertie of electricity transmission. There’s a whole range of things we can do to make this possible.” Continue Reading →

NPI: Northern Ontario needs people – by Staff (Sudbury Star – April 17, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Northern Ontario is leaking workers and people. If nothing is done, that could easily turn into a flood, The Northern Policy Institute warns. In a release, the Northern Policy Institute said the North will be short 75,000 workers and 150,000 people by the year 2041, even after allowing for the expected growth in the region’s Indigenous population.

To make up for such losses, Northern Ontario would have to attract, on average, some 6,000 people a year, starting next year and every year for the next 25 years. “This will require real resources, significant effort and serious commitment,” the institute said.

It will also require an evidence-based plan. To that end, the Northern Policy Institute has launched a new project, Northern Attraction, to collect the evidence, engage with experts, and develop that action plan to share with key decision-makers, community partners and the broader public. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario Party taking steps to form riding associations – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – April 12, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – After establishing its first riding association in Nipissing this week, the Northern Ontario Party’s next target is Timiskaming-Cochrane.

“It’s already registered with Elections Ontario,” party leader Trevor Holliday said of the riding association for Timiskaming-Cochrane. “The Northern Ontario Heritage Party had somebody run in the 2014 election, and he actually received 2.3% of the vote (625 votes, which was nearly 100 more than the Green Party candidate received).

“The riding association is still there. It never de-registered. However, with nobody in place to keep it going, we have to re-establish the people in positions.” The party has a public meeting planned in Kirkland Lake next week to do just that.

“We have a couple of people who are interested in getting that riding association up and running,” said Holliday, who is from North Bay. “That’s the main thing we’re looking for: People that feel the same passion we do about Northern Ontario and are willing to step forward and help out.” Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Erin O’Toole announces Energy & Natural Resources Policy

“Making the opportunities of Ontario’s Ring of Fire a national priority
by declaring chromite a nationally significant resource and the development
of the Ring of Fire as a project of national significance. This will allow
the Government of Canada to take the lead on the Ring of Fire and expedite
the transportation corridor urgently needed to attract more investment into
the many northern Ontario communities which sought to host the Ring of Fire’s
infrastructure.” Erin O’Toole

OTTAWA, February 23, 2017 – Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Erin O’Toole today announced his plan to reinvigorate Canada’s economy by advancing major energy and natural resource projects.

O’Toole announced that, as Prime Minister, he will support the energy and natural resource sectors by:
• Passing a National Strategic Pipelines Act, declaring major pipeline projects, including Energy East, as strategic to Canada’s economic interests. Continue Reading →

‘Alternate hydro facts’ ring of truth – by Thomas Perry (Timmins Daily Press – February 18, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – Listening to Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and Liberal Energy Minister Glen Thibeault go back and fourth on the province’s hydro rates brings to mind a misattributed catchphrase from a 1960s television show.

Despite common belief, Det.-Sgt. Joe Friday’s monotone voice never actually proclaimed: “Just the facts, ma’am,” on any episode of the popular Dragnet. That line was actually featured in Stan Freberg’s works parodying the show. Having said that, Brown was clearly preaching to the choir while in Timmins on Thursday.

After all, this community lost hundreds of jobs when Xstrata made the decision to close its met site in May of 2010 and ship ore to Quebec for processing. Quebec, like Manitoba to the west, has much more economical electricity rates, which was certainly a factor when Xstrata made its decision. Continue Reading →

Ontario Northland bounces back after dodging a government bullet – by John Michael McGrath (TVO.org – January 27, 2017)

http://tvo.org/

There’s nothing like a near-death experience to focus the mind. Just ask the people at Ontario Northland, the provincially owned company that runs trains and buses across the province’s northeast.

It’s been nearly five years since then-finance minister Dwight Duncan introduced an austerity budget that would have privatized Ontario Northland’s operations, sending shock waves through the north and reinforcing attitudes among local residents that the Liberals simply didn’t understand the needs of the region.

Formally called the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC), the agency has a long history. Founded in 1902, its rail expansion into northern Ontario was crucial to the settling of towns like Cochrane, and, after World War I, it built what is still the only year-round connection to Ontario’s James Bay shore. Continue Reading →

Arrested Development: Down, down, down? Ring of Fire still a burning question – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – December 13, 2016)

http://business.financialpost.com/

The nine chiefs of the Matawa First Nations closest to Ontario’s Ring of Fire gathered around a conference table in July 2013 at what seemed like a historic crossroads to debate the merits of development in a region that had never before experienced it.

Promises of jobs, revenue sharing and infrastructure improvements, some said, could bring prosperity to the struggling communities. On the other hand, development could come too rapidly and at too high a cost to their land and traditional way of life. They needn’t have worried. Three years later, development of the 5,000-square-kilometre area of the James Bay Lowlands is still stuck in neutral.

The Ring of Fire is a deposit of minerals — including nickel, copper, gold, zinc and the extremely rare chromite — some 540 kilometres north of Thunder Bay that is said to be worth up to $60 billion. Dubbed “Canada’s next oilsands,” it could be the biggest resource development Ontario has seen in more than a century. Continue Reading →