Archive | Northern Ontario Separation and Alienation

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

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)

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 →

[FedNor] Northern leaders contend program’s potency compromised by rash of factors – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – November 2, 2016)

SAULT STE. MARIE – The mayors from across Northern Ontario are prepared to step up their action in the hopes of convincing the federal government to improve FedNor for the sake of all the North. Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano hosted the Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors meeting in Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday.

Mayors from Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins, gathered in the Sault to discuss issues with its funding agencies, FedNor and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. (NOHFC), as well as topics that affect all the communities, including rising energy prices, Ring of Fire development and the Municipal Property Assessment Corp. North Bay’s mayor joined the conversation by telephone conference.

Provenzano said FedNor topped the discussion at the meeting and the top elected officials have said they’re going to elevate the discussion about FedNor. He said the mayors want to go to the Northern Ontario Liberal Caucus and have a discussion directly with the region’s federal members of Parliament. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: New commentary suggests a prosperous future for Northern Ontario rests on how we are governed

Click here for full document:

September 27, 2016 – A new commentary released by Northern Policy Institute suggests that many of Northern Ontario’s economic and social problems are linked to how the region is governed.

In the last thirty years, Northern Ontario’s economy has not performed as well as the province as a whole – or than the economies of northern parts of other provinces. Beyond economic issues, Northern Ontario is also underperforming in education and general conditions of its population, particularly Indigenous peoples.

Governance in Northern Ontario: Taking Ownership of the Future, by David MacKinnon, uses evidence to propose that Northern Ontario should pursue a regional governance model – people in a region determining their collective ends, means, and values – as a major step forward for the region. Continue Reading →

[The Great Provincial Divide – Northern Ontario Separation] – The Agenda’s Steve Paikin interviews Laure Paquette, Erik White and Stan Sudol (March 11, 2016)

The Agenda explores the idea of northern Ontario separating from the south.

Laure Paquette is an Associate Professor at Lakehead University’s Political Science department in Thunder Bay.

Erik White is a journalist at CBC Radio Sudbury.

Stan Sudol is publisher/editor of, a mining aggregator website, freelance mining columnist for the Sudbury Star and communications consultant in Toronto.


Sudbury Star Editorial: What Northern Ontario needs from Ottawa – by Don MacDonald (Sudbury Star – August 17, 2016)

Voters in Northern Ontario were good to Justin Trudeau and federal Liberals, giving the party seven seats in its return to power in 2015, including the Sudbury area’s two ridings. So in a way, it’s no surprise that Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet are meeting in the Nickel City for a retreat, starting Saturday.

The cabinet has a lot on its plate, as all federal cabinets do. But given where they are meeting, let’s hope Trudeau and his ministers take some time to consider what Northern Ontario and Greater Sudbury could use from the federal Liberal government.

If the ministers spend any time on Sudbury’s roads, they will learn quickly they are a mess. The City of Greater Sudbury is spending less than half of what it should each year to maintain its roads; there is a backlog of hundreds of millions worth of work that needs to be done and little money to do it. It’s a backlog that grows every year. Continue Reading →

Can Kathleen Wynne handle northern Ontario’s growing discontent? – by Steve Paikin ( – August 8, 2016)

Kathleen Wynne arrives in Little Current, Manitoulin Island, in a big black SUV, surrounded by all the trappings of being premier of Ontario. There are the omnipresent staffers who do the advance work and try to keep her on schedule. And there is the Ontario Provincial Police security detail trying to look unobtrusive but not quite succeeding.

Wynne has decided to drop in on the Manitoulin Country Fest. It’s a blazingly hot day on the world’s largest freshwater island, and probably the last thing on anyone’s mind in this town of 2,700 people is politics. A smallish crowd has come to hear country music, and while Wynne doesn’t want to interrupt their enjoyment of the day, this is Day Two of her current northern swing.

And so, she will do the thing she is so good at ̶ shake some hands, make small talk with the locals, meet some island politicians, hear about their concerns, check out what’s on offer at the booths, and listen. Continue Reading →

[KWG Resources] Mining firm stands behind sexy ads – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 11, 2016)

There’s no such thing as bad press, says Frank Smeenk, so he won’t apologize for a controversial and sexy video hyping the Ring of Fire. Smeenk is president and chief executive officer of KWG Resources Ltd., an exploration company participating in the discovery, delineation and development of chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire.

Smeenk has come under fire since a short video produced by model-actress-entrepreneur Theresa Longo was released on YouTube. In it, Longo, 29, and friend Ashley Bonar, 32, rhyme off five facts about the Ring of Fire while dressed in bikini tops and short shorts at a cottage in Haliburton.

Smeenk said the idea for the video wasn’t his, but he’s glad Longo thought of it because it’s garnering headlines for the junior miner in Canada and abroad. That can’t be bad for a company trying to attract investors. Continue Reading →

Northern separatist party looking to gain support – by Sarah Moore (Timmins Daily Press – August 8, 2016)

NORTH BAY – While a decades-old separatist party has been recently revived with a new name and new leader, its platform remains the same – giving the people of Northern Ontario a voice at Queen’s Park.

Trevor Holliday, from North Bay, has been voted in as the official party leader for the newly re-branded Northern Ontario Party (NOP). Earlier this year, Holliday launched an online petition calling for Northern Ontario to become its own province. When more than 4,000 supporters backed his position, he decided to take things one step further and register the NOP with Elections Ontario at the end of last month.

“It was a big shock for me because I went from just wanting to see what people’s thoughts were with the petition; I was wondering if I was on my own with that thought and then a huge following came along,” Holliday recalled. “The feedback has just been amazing. People have come out from everywhere saying, ‘You’re giving us a voice.’ So this is why I’m doing this.” Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario Party is born – by Gord Young (North Bay Nugget/Sudbury Star – August 5, 2016)

An online petition has evolved into a political calling for Callander’s Trevor Holliday. The Ontario Northland motor coach driver dipped his toes into provincial politics in January when he launched a petition calling for Northern Ontario independence.

And now, eight months later, Holliday is leading the newly minted Northern Ontario Party, which plans to field a slate of candidates in the next election. “Politics was not even on my mind. It was foreign to me,” says Holliday, who previously had little interest in government. But he’s been propelled by the response to his petition, which has garnered more than 4,000 supporters and a fair bit of media attention.

He started the petition, calling for the North to become its own province, after hearing first-hand accounts as a motor coach driver from passengers about their health care and transportation woes. Continue Reading →

Separatist Northern Ontario Party officially a registered party – by Jon Thompson, ( – August 3, 2016)

THUNDER BAY – THUNDER BAY – When Ontario Northland motorcoach driver Trevor Holliday started a petition in March calling for Northern Ontario’s independence, he never envisaged becoming the leader of a political party with the aim of making it a reality. That’s exactly what happened within only a season.

“I go from saying I’ll never get involved in politics and now look at me,” Holliday said. “I’m jumping in with both feet.” Elections Ontario listed the Northern Ontario Party among the list of registered parties on July 28, breathing new life into a four-decades-old separatist movement with Holliday as its party leader.

The NOP inherits the mantle of the Northern Ontario Heritage Party, the separatist party which gained prominence in the 1970s and was disbanded in 1985, only to be re-launched in 2010. Continue Reading →

MEDIA RELEASE: Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity Report Overlooks Sudbury’s World-Class Mining Clusters

Sudbury is the Silicon Valley of underground mining research

Nickel Belt – (July 6, 2016): The Toronto-based Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity recently issued a report titled “Clusters in Ontario: Creating an ecosystem for prosperity” that, in the opinion of industry experts, overlooks Sudbury’s vibrant mining clusters.

Industrial clusters are interrelated businesses in compact geographical regions that are supported by educational, research and government institutions which enhance economic growth, prosperity and innovation through value-added manufacturing and internal/external exports.

Marc Serré, Nickel Belt MP and a member of The National Standing Committee on Natural Resources says, “Sudbury’s dynamic mining clusters are a globally unique concentration of Canadian hard-rock expertise and innovation, unique in North America and found in very few other cities around the world. My fear is that federal and provincial policy experts and politicians will read this report and assume any requests for multi-million dollar strategic investments for Sudbury to further enhance educational or research aspects would not be warranted.” Continue Reading →

Endangered Species Act hot topic at upcoming NEOMA – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 25, 2016)

KIRKLAND LAKE – Concerns over Ontario’s Endangered Species Act continue to dominate discussions amongst Northeastern Ontario municipal leaders.

Less than two weeks after the annual meeting of FONOM (Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities) was held in Timmins, Northern leaders are now preparing for the annual meeting of the Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) which is to be held in Kirkland Lake this coming Friday.

Several items on the NEOMA agenda include The Endangered Species Act and what the implementation of the act means for Northern Ontario communities that rely on resource-based industries, such as logging and mining. The Act will be spoken to in a presentation to be made by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). Continue Reading →

Sudbury could lead ‘Northern renaissance’ — Robinson (Sudbury Star – May 25, 2016)

Sudbury could be the centre of a “Northern renaissance,” David Robinson believes, if Northern Ontario had more control over its destiny and its economic development.

Robinson, a Laurentian University economics professor, wrote a report entitled Revolution or Devolution?: How Northern Ontario Should be Governed, released last month by the Northern Policy Institute. The report calls for an alternative model of governance to give the region more control over its resource-based economy, which more than half of Northerners believe would be managed better locally than by a centralized Ontario government.

The process, called devolution, could include granting Northern Ontario legislative powers, creating an elected but advisory Northern Ontario assembly, and the creation of a semi-autonomous district with most of the powers of a province. A strong case can be made, Robinson says, that there would be significant economic advantages from devolution of powers. Continue Reading →

North deserves more clout: Readers – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – May 16, 2016)

This week, The Star asked its readers about autonomy and sovereignty in Northern Ontario. We wanted to know: Would you like to see Northern Ontario get more powers to run its affairs and develop its economy?

Online, 67 per cent of respondents (344 votes) said yes, while 11 per cent of voters (55 votes) said no. Twenty per cent of voters (101 votes) advocated for the separation of the North from the rest of the province, while two per cent of respondents (17 votes) said they were not sure.

Likening northern separation to the Quebec referendum, one female caller noted that more power would be great, but added Northern Ontario should remain a part of the province. “Yes, we are the largest city in Northern Ontario, but don’t even think of separation. Leave that to Quebec,” she said. Continue Reading →