THUNDER BAY, ON --- July 14, 2011 --- Following Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s luncheon address to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Hudak sat down with the Board to discuss several issues that the Chamber has advocated over the past year. Both Dr. Fred Gilbert and Anthony LeBlanc also participated in the conversation.
“We had an extensive dialogue on a number of key business topics with Mr. Hudak”, stated 2011 Chair Justin Frape. “Maximizing the benefits of Northern resources for the North, especially around the Ring of Fire, was a key point, as was how energy pricing, generation and transmission should be used to attract industrial investment. Quite frankly, we were very pleased to see the specific 26 million cubic metres guaranteed wood supply for industrial use included in the Changebook, which we have been requesting of the government. Finally, we appreciated that Tim Hudak has committed to no cut-backs in the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.”
Added Harold Wilson, Chamber President, “We discussed the need for more decision-making capability in the North which was mentioned several times in the speech. When we expressed our concern with proposed local forest management corporations under Tenure Reform, he invited us to further develop a model that would involve the forest industry, First Nations, the Provincial government and municipalities.”
The Chamber looks forward to discussing these issues with all the political leaders during their visits to Thunder Bay prior to the Provincial election in October.
Thursday , Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak released changebook North – the Party’s specific commitments to northern Ontario families to build stronger communities and create northern jobs. While Dalton McGuinty listens to Southern Ontario special interests to create policies that simply don’t work in the North, only Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party have been listening to and delivering for Northern Ontario families.
Any policy to create jobs and ensure a strong future for the North has three questions at its core: Does it originate in the North? Does it protect the Northern way of life? Does it keep wealth in the North? Only if the answer was “yes” to all three would we include it in changebook North.
The results form three pillars of changebook North: change to create more jobs in the North; change to make the most of the North’s natural advantages; and change to build stronger communities. On October 6th, Northern Ontario families will have a clear choice – a choice between more misplaced priorities and special interests from Dalton McGuinty, or a better choice for jobs, for change, and for a Tim Hudak government.
“Changebook North shows what we’ve learned by listening. Charting a new course to northern jobs and growth must not originate from Queen’s Park, but instead must rely on the input of northern Ontario families and businesses themselves.” -Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader
“The Southern Ontario special interests, with their fantasy view of what Northern living really is, have far too much say over decisions that affect actual northern families. A Tim Hudak government will stand up to the special interests and deliver change that brings more jobs to northern communities that need them.” --Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader
· Tim Hudak served as Minister of Northern Development and Mines under a PC government that increased funding for northern highway infrastructure improvements to an all-time high; doubled the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (which supports economic diversification and growth); and established Ontario as the top ranked place for mining in the world by bringing in significant tax cuts and credits.
Dalton McGuinty has presided over the closure of 60 mills and the loss of 45,000 northern jobs during his time as Premier. Ontario’s mining sector has dropped to 19th the world and 7th in Canada.
Download your copy of changebook North today at www.changebook.ca/north and see the attached backgrounder for further details
Michael Gravelle's Response to Tim Hudak speach to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerces:
In an emialed statement from Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry and MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North office
“Tim Hudak and the PC’s have put together a document for the North that lacks substance. It is clear that Hudak will continue to neglect Northern Ontario, just as he did when he was the Southern Minister of Northern Development and Mines. He talks about job creation, but under his government’s watch the North lost 8,000 jobs and moved thousands of good-paying government jobs south. And he talks about NOHFC job creation; but under the last PC government the private sector was excluded from accessing the fund, meaning fewer jobs were created. As well, when he talks about the North’s resource sectors, Forestry and Mining, I’d like to remind people that his party has voted against every single investment we have made in the forest industry. And when it comes to mining they seem to disregard the current positive state of the sector. Exploration is forecast to reach its highest level ever in 2011 at $940 million, up from $800 million in 2010; new mines are opening and old one’s expanding. And it’s no surprise that they didn’t mention our Northern highways. I am very proud that our government has invested record amounts, nearly $700 million a year, while their government upon taking office, cut Northern highways spending by 17.2 %. The truth is that you can’t trust Tim Hudak when it comes to the North and all you have to do is look at his record to prove it.” - Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry and MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North