News

Northern Mayors intend to hold the Premier to his word

Thursday, April 19, 2012   by: Kate AdamsMayor Al McDonald
News Release

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Today, the Mayors of the Northern Communities Working Group met with Mr. Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines to discuss the Government’s recent announcement relating to the divestiture of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

The Minister made it very clear that the decision to divest the ONTC has been made.

When asked about his view, the Minister said: “I support the government in this decision to divest”.

There is, without question, a complete disconnect from the needs of the people of Northeastern Ontario and the policy direction the McGuinty government is taking in regard to the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

A decade ago, Mr. McGuinty signed a pledge to never divest of the ONTC.

He was right to do so then and he is wrong to breach that contract now.

“The Ontario Northland is an essential cornerstone of Northern Ontario’s economic and transportation infrastructure; The privatization of the ONTC will result in local jobs being lost; Privatization will not guarantee local jobs. Once sold, the government will have no control over which jobs are moved out of the North or lost altogether; Therefore I will guarantee the people of Nipissing that my government will not approve or allow the privatization of the ONTC; and I further guarantee that my government will not permit any restructuring plan to go forward that relocates jobs out of Northern Ontario or eliminates transportation services provided by the ONTC.”

That was what his pledge said and it was called:

“Saving jobs, protecting our future in the north: A contract with the people of Nipissing”

We intend to hold the Premier to his word and we expect him to fulfill his contract with the people of Nipissing and across the northeast of Ontario.

We understand times and circumstances change.

As municipal politicians and engaged citizens, we understand the fluid nature of economics and the impacts that economic change can bring.

We also understand this Liberal government is struggling with ongoing fiscal issues that are not entirely of their own making, but punishing the north and selling off the ONTC provides no long-term solutions in regard to the deficit.

We appreciate the meeting we had with Mr. Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, but we still request a meeting with the Premier so he can look us in the eyes and tell us why he is taking this direction.
We heard nothing of substance today.

We asked today, that the divestiture process announced by Mr. Bartolucci on March 23 be paused; that the municipalities and other stakeholders be fully and completely consulted; that the stakeholders be given the opportunity to consider options and alternatives; and that Mr. McGuinty come to the north and explain to northerners why he is breaking his pledge of 2002 and turning his back on the laudable northern initiatives his government proposed in their own Northern Growth Plan.

The time is now for decisions affecting the north to be made with the full consultation and cooperation of northerners.

The Minister today wanted to provide a history lesson, but as stated earlier, times change and we want to discuss the future.

In today’s meeting, it became very evident that the government has no plan in place which addresses the situation beyond the simple decision to divest. They have not contemplated the grave impact on individuals, on businesses, on communities, or on the entire region of North Eastern Ontario.

With more than one hundred years of proud and productive service to the Province, at a minimum, the ONTC and the professional and skilled workers they employ deserve better than the treatment they are currently receiving from the McGuinty government.

We want a new deal for Ontario Northland and we want to be involved in all decisions.

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Comments
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yabadaba 4/19/2012 4:38:26 PM Report

Good Luck

He's Fartalucci's boss and he gave the order.


I am Canadian 4/19/2012 9:00:23 PM Report

Wake up and join the rest of us in the 21st century.ONTC is for sale the rest of us taxpayers are sick and tired of subsidising the inflated salaries of these union thugs with their sense of entitlement mentalities.Word of advice update your resumes.
dealer 4/20/2012 7:45:51 AM Report

U can only feed at the public trough for so long while losing millions....even the government catches on eventually!!!
yabadaba 4/20/2012 8:56:31 AM Report

An intelligent rebuttal to the above posts would be senseless, these people don't have a clue.

Probably folks who applied and never got the jobs; therefore must have a grudge.

You have no clue of the financial impact the divestment will have on all the communities involved. Why do you think the chambers of commerce are backing the fight against divestment. You may not realize it but someone in your very own family may be laid off by one of the businesses affected.

Then you'll be standing there yelling at the top of your lungs. I am the dealer, I am Canadian.

coneyman 4/20/2012 9:53:23 AM Report

Don't hold your breath Mayors, remember the Premier's nick name " LYIN DALTON".
That pretty much explains it all and appllies to his whole cabinet.
dealer 4/20/2012 10:46:22 AM Report

yabada....waaaa waaaa, anyone disagree's with me doesnt have a clue....waaa waaa
I am Canadian 4/20/2012 11:14:28 AM Report

Hey yabdaba Nov. 2005 my job along with hundreds in North bay was divested from the Ontario government.Guess what most of us are still working and some retired afew lost their jobs.North Bay didnt go broke.Things turned out well for most of us.For the record a lot of what you post is nothing more than fear mongering also alot of what you post here is not considered intelligent.
yabadaba 4/20/2012 11:19:20 AM Report

If I ever needed proof to make my point, I think you just provided it.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.
dealer 4/20/2012 11:25:05 AM Report

yaba...u have proven NOTHING...
yabadaba 4/20/2012 11:28:53 AM Report

Dealer;

You are correct, I have proven nothing. You have, of yourself.

I still want you to have a nice day.
dealer 4/20/2012 12:38:14 PM Report

yaba...if it makes u feel better to say that to 'justify' your point to yourself....u go right ahead...there is a reason the ontc doesnt have the support they thought they would get!!!
yabadaba 4/20/2012 1:22:03 PM Report

Dealer:

They have the support of those who are smart enough to know what there is to be lost in the communities and region.

The narrow minded always begrudge those who have what they don't have, but couldn't be bothered to try and improve their stock in life, but would just rather complain.

Which one are you.

Enjoy the weather.
dealer 4/20/2012 2:19:04 PM Report

yaba...do u feel better now.....
yabadaba 4/20/2012 2:34:32 PM Report

I guess that's all you have to offer.

dealer 4/20/2012 2:59:47 PM Report

enjoy the weather....
I am Canadian 4/20/2012 3:54:47 PM Report

Dealer i think he just wants you to agree with whatever he says.
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of BayToday.ca. Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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