'ONTC belongs in the hands of MTO,' FedeliFriday, October 05, 2012 by: Kate AdamsNipissing MPP Vic Fedeli
The province’s recently released recommendations for the Federal Long-Term Infrastructure Plan prove Ontario Northland needs to be moved to a new ministry, Nipissing
MPP Vic Fedeli charged today.
On page 11 of the document from the Ministry of Infrastructure, it states “Transportation infrastructure is particularly critical for the development of northern communities.”
It further states “Transportation infrastructure connects northern communities with one another, connects goods to international markets, and delivers essentials like food, fuel and emergency services to remotes communities.”
“If this doesn’t describe a vision for the future role of Ontario Northland, I don’t know what does,” said Fedeli.
“This is rock solid proof that Ontario Northland needs to be transferred from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, which clearly doesn’t get it, and into the MTO.”
Fedeli notes the Northern Growth Plan – a product of the Northern Development Ministry -- by contrast, made no mention of Ontario Northland when it was first released three years ago.
“It’s clear given the way the government’s ONTC fire sale has been carried out that this file needs to be taken out of Rick Bartolucci’s inept hands,” Fedeli said.
“The Ontario PC party would not hesitate to move responsibility for the ONTC to the MTO, which can integrate Ontario Northland’s assets into a provincial transportation strategy,” Fedeli added.
“It would also give Ontario Northland much needed access to the province’s capital envelope. My party views the ONTC as strategically critical infrastructure for private sector job creation and economic development in the North.”
Fedeli reiterated his call for Northern mayors, businesses and residents to help push Premier McGuinty to ensure that Ontario Northland’s rail freight division remains publicly-owned.