GCA welcomes Ontario’s Auditor General review of ONTC divestmentThursday, March 07, 2013 by: Kate AdamsONTC General Chairperson’s Association
Representatives from the General Chairperson’s Association (GCA) which represents all unionized employees at Ontario Northland (ONTC) are pleased that the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has directed the Auditor General to review the Ontario Government’s divestment of the ONTC.
“We have said from day one that the decision to sell off the ONTC did not make sense and we appreciate the all-party committee support in passing this directive to the Auditor General to review this decision”, said GCA Spokesperson Brian Kelly.
“The numbers the Government are using to support their decision to divest are based on a one year anomaly. The government has purposely amalgamated their pension obligations, investment in passenger rail coaches, infrastructure and the acquisition of Sault PUC to deliberately magnify the contributions to services provided in order to justify their decision to shut down valuable services to Northerners and sell off all assets in a fire sale”, added Kelly.
“Given the involvement of the provincial Auditor General, we believe that the government is obligated to pause the divestiture process including the contemplated sale of ONTERA. This will also provide a window for Minister Gravelle’s Stakeholder Committee to fully and properly review all options for the ONTC including the all in New Deal proposal for Northern Ontario. We are confident that review will demonstrate clearly that working with First Nations, north eastern/north western Communities, industry, Federal Government and stakeholder representatives including the GCA, that all policy objectives of government for the north can be met within the New Deal proposal ensuring social and economic long-term prosperity for the region”, concluded Kelly