'ONTC belongs in the hands of MTO,' FedeliFriday, October 05, 2012 by: Kate AdamsNipissing MPP Vic Fedeli
The provinceâ€™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 â€śTransportation infrastructure is particularly critical for the development of northern communities.â€ť
It further states â€śTransportation infrastructure connects northern communities with one another, connects goods to international markets, and delivers essentials like food, fuel and emergency services to remotes communities.â€ť
â€śIf this doesnâ€™t describe a vision for the future role of Ontario Northland, I donâ€™t know what does,â€ť said Fedeli.
â€śThis is rock solid proof that Ontario Northland needs to be transferred from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, which clearly doesnâ€™t get it, and into the MTO.â€ť
Fedeli notes the Northern Growth Plan â€“ a product of the Northern Development Ministry -- by contrast, made no mention of Ontario Northland when it was first released three years ago.
â€śItâ€™s clear given the way the governmentâ€™s ONTC fire sale has been carried out that this file needs to be taken out of Rick Bartolucciâ€™s inept hands,â€ť Fedeli said.
â€śThe Ontario PC party would not hesitate to move responsibility for the ONTC to the MTO, which can integrate Ontario Northlandâ€™s assets into a provincial transportation strategy,â€ť Fedeli added.
â€śIt would also give Ontario Northland much needed access to the provinceâ€™s capital envelope. My party views the ONTC as strategically critical infrastructure for private sector job creation and economic development in the North.â€ť
Fedeli reiterated his call for Northern mayors, businesses and residents to help push Premier McGuinty to ensure that Ontario Northlandâ€™s rail freight division remains publicly-owned.