Archive | Northern Ontario Separation and Alienation

No One Wants To Talk About Ontario’s Disappearing Blue-Collar Communities – by Robert Waite (Huffington Post – October 16, 2017)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

A lot can happen to a city or town in 35 years. Take Toronto — in 1982 the city still sported nicknames like “Toronto the Good” and “Hog Town.”  Visitors from New York and Montreal had another word for it: “Boring.”

Several decades (and several million more people) later, Toronto has transformed into one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities.

But this story isn’t about Toronto. It is about a town in Northern Ontario, Kapuskasing, located a good 10-hour drive (about 800 kilometres) away. It is about the fact that even in an age of global warming, life in Canada north of 45 degrees latitude (49.4, to be exact) can be precarious. Continue Reading →

Could more autonomy hurt the north? One expert says yes – by Frank Giorno (Timmins Today – September 28, 2017)

https://www.timminstoday.com/

“For example, Manitoba established a university in its north in the 19th
Century, but in Ontario it took until the 1960s to start up a Northern
university. The decision was made in Queen’s Park,” said Robinson. “Queen’s
Park is keeping the University of Toronto’s mining school when it could be
more successful in northern Ontario.”

Robinson spoke about the success of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and
Services Association (SAMSSA) in promoting northern Ontario mining and
how Queen’s Park disagreed with its development.

TIMMINS — Striving for greater autonomy for northern Ontario comes with risk, says an expert who spoke at a conference on the state of the region. Devolved jurisdictions like Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland have not succeeded as proponents expected, said David MacKinnon, a former senior civil servant with the Ontario government’s Ministry of Finance who has also worked in Nova Scotia.

“The question to ask is whether devolution of power will lead to improved governance, or perhaps the opposite,” MacKinnon told conference-goers at a two-day conference held in Timmins by the Northern Policy Insitutute. “Devolution does have serious risks in my view.” Continue Reading →

Far northern Ontario provincial ridings to be doubled (CBC News Sudbury – August 8, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Legislature to vote this fall to split current two electoral ridings into four in time for 2018 election

The Ontario legislature will vote this fall on adding two more ridings to the province. Over the spring months, an electoral boundaries commission traveled across northern Ontario seeking feedback from residents.

The panel was tasked with finding a way to better represent the Far North region at Queen’s Park. That region is currently divided into two ridings: Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins James Bay. In its final report published Tuesday, the commission recommends doubling the number of ridings to four.

The other ridings to be created would be Kiiwetinoong in the northwest, and Mushkegowuk in the northeast. Kiiwetinoong would be a mostly Indigenous riding, while Mushkegowuk would be mostly Francophone. Continue Reading →

Ontario Liberals’ plan for two new ridings could violate the Charter and cost PCs the election – by Josh Dehaas (National Post – August 8, 2017)

http://nationalpost.com/

Josh Dehaas is a Toronto-based freelance writer.

Ontario’s Liberal government will soon consider a proposal to add two new seats in northern Ontario. If you live in the south of the province, that should worry you. Your vote would count for less and your Charter rights might be violated. If you’re a Progressive Conservative, it could cost your party the election.

The Liberals set up the Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission in May and asked them to fly around the north consulting on whether to add one or two seats to the electoral map in northern Ontario. The stated goal is to create what Attorney General Yasir Naqvi called “predominantly Indigenous” ridings.

The commission came back with their interim report last month and it states—surprise, surprise—that northerners would prefer adding two new ridings, instead of just one. While the public won’t see the final report until Naqvi makes it public, the plan put forward in the interim report is to chop two huge, far north districts into four, creating four new seats.  Two of the seats (Mushkegowuk and Kiiwetinong) would be majority-Indigenous, and one (Timmins) would be about 40 per cent Francophone. 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 →

Premier wants ‘shovels in the ground’ at Ring of Fire – by Gord Young (North Bay Nugget – May 12, 2017)

http://www.nugget.ca/

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne committed Thursday to consult with Northern Ontario municipal leaders on economic development strategies for the region.

Wynne told delegates at the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference that’s she’s “absolutely open” to a suggestion brought to her during the event that she sit down with the mayors of Northern Ontario’s five largest municipalities, as well as the heads of FONOM and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, to discuss economic development.

Although the province is already working on an economic development plan, Wynne said she wants to hear from the groups in order to get an immediate take on what some of the opportunities may be and to discuss ways to improve what’s being done. 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 →

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 →

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 →

[Ontario] Poor rail service continues to plague north – by Éric Boutilier (Sudbury Star – April 17, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Éric Boutilier is a spokesperson with the Northern & Eastern Ontario Rail Network.

I’ve recently made an observation as a lifelong resident of Northern Ontario: if you don’t own or are unable to operate a vehicle, don’t expect the government to care or assist you with your need to travel to and from your community.

If you’re sick, poor, frail or live in an isolated region, both the provincial and federal governments don’t see the need to provide you with a safe, reliable and comfortable means of transportation in order to access health care, education, tourism opportunities, or to visit family and friends.

Since 2012, the Liberals and Conservatives have axed a number essential transportation routes without public consultation. The Grits cut the Northlander, the region’s only daily train, in favour of an “enhanced bus service.” 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 →

Cobalt is king for Vancouver developer – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 2, 2016)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The namesake metal of the town of Cobalt is the focus of a Vancouver company which has acquired a former silver mine property near the historic northeastern Ontario community. CobalTech Mining, formerly known as Big North Graphite, closed the acquisition of the former Duncan Kerr property from Trio Resources of Toronto on Nov. 23.

The company has plans to dig into the leftover piles of mineralized material on the surface to source cobalt.

Their 32-hectare property, located three kilometres southeast of the town in Coleman Township, contains the underground remnants of the former Kerr and Lawson silver mines, which operated intermittently from the mid-1900s through to the 1960s. Continue Reading →

Network battling to restore passenger rail in northeastern Ontario – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – November 23, 2016)

http://www.nugget.ca/

Every person in Ontario pays $155.62 a year to support the GO trains and buses that operate in southern Ontario. Meanwhile, the provincial subsidy for the now-defunct Northlander passenger train cost 86 cents for every man, woman and child in the province, according to Eric Boutilier.

Boutilier, a member of the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network, said Tuesday it is possible to bring passenger rail service back to northeastern Ontario. It’s going to take a fight to do so, he said, but it’s a fight that’s well worth the effort.

“In Northern Ontario, we have very limited options for transportation,” Boutilier said. “If you want to get anywhere, you have to take the highway.” But particularly in winter, he said, that option is not always do-able. Continue Reading →