Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli has tabled an amendment to the provincial budget on the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.
“The first and only opportunity to provide amendments was at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and that’s when I filed my ONTC amendment,” Fedeli said.
It would prevent the government from selling or disposing of any ONTC asset prior to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines tabling a report in the Legislature on the economic impact in Northern Ontario of such a decision along with a proper revenue assessment.
“This amendment forces the Minister to provide an economic and financial justification for any sale of an Ontario Northland asset,” Fedeli said.
“Surely this information was known to the government before they set out to divest the ONTC – we want to see it.”
“As stated previously, it’s my firm belief there are no savings to be realized from this government’s planned fire sale of Ontario Northland.”
After eight weeks of research through meetings with the Minister, Ministry and Infrastructure Ontario officials and others, Fedeli uncovered a $100 million-plus unfunded pension liability, environmental and labour contract liabilities and large subsidies that would continue for the Polar Bear Express and smaller bus routes that would negate any potential savings from the sale.
The amendment, if adopted, would prevent the Commission from ceasing to provide a service or transferring assets and liabilities prior to such a report being tabled by the Minister. It would also prevent the Crown from disposing of part or all of its interest in the ONTC before that report came before the Legislature.
“Northern Ontarians need and deserve reassurances that any decision affecting Ontario Northland is being made in their best interest and in the interests of the taxpayers of Ontario,” said Fedeli.
“The Liberals and NDP now have the opportunity to do the right thing and support this amendment.”