Local politicians took time at City Council this week to be thankful to the forethought of their predecessors.
In particular, they tabled a motion during Monday’s meeting to thank the former Premier of the Province of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, for making a commitment to a major investment by finishing the four-laning of the highway 11 North from Toronto to North Bay, which is completed after more than a decade of work.
“It’s going to help business and industry come to North Bay and flourish,” says Councillor Mac Bain.
Every political party with a major stripe was in power during the process of its build and they all kept the necessary funds and organization going during the long and major infrastructure building project.
Of course, each municipality north of Toronto gradually saw benefits flow their way as the four-lanes progressed to and beyond their communities.
With its completion now in North Bay, the city is that much closer to the major markets in Toronto and it makes it that much quicker, safer and easier for goods and services to be expanded along the central Northern Ontario corridor.
“The four laning provides people who live here access to Southern Ontario and gives Southern Ontario access to us,” says Bain.
Of course, the major props for the construction would have to be given to its first and most influential political supporter, Mike Harris, who brought forth the concept to build the much needed highway in an expanded and modern fashion to the North Bay area.
It must also be pointed out that the Ontario Liberals were in power for a large amount of the time the highway was constructed and continued to support it at many levels.
Only recently, with the announcement of the new OHL hockey club The Battalion, one can see how this highway has impacted the plans of business that now see North Bay as a much shorter trip away from the major metropolitan areas surrounding Toronto.
“One of the criteria that they had was the proximity to other teams and the fact that we’re three hours from the 400 and the 401 contributed to them moving here,” Bain says.