Minority may mean Northern [Ontario] voice will be heard – by Ryan Lux (Timmins Daily Press – October 8, 2011)

 The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at news@thedailypress.ca.

A minority Parliament might just be what it takes for the North to be heard in Queen’s Park, said Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren following Thursday’s provincial election which saw the Liberals win government for a third time.

“In a perfect world I would love to see the three parties roll up their sleeves and work together on the issues facing the North,” Laughren said. “That’s why people elect minority Parliaments, not because we want another election in 18 months time.”

While Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals were short only one seat from achieving an historic third-consecutive majority, Laughren is pinning his hopes that on issues facing the North, that the deciding vote incorporates a Northern voice.

“In many cases, Northern leaders have been going to all kinds of different sessions related to mining, endangered species and land use, and talking about the challenges and in many instances it does not appear that we’re being listened to,” Laughren told The Daily Press.

Hopefully, said Laughren, the new minority government situation will break Southern Ontario’s intransigence on Northern positions seen in the past two majority Liberal governments.

“A minority government has to put more emphasis on every vote so hopefully that comes with a greater willingness to look at the pros and the cons on each issues to come up with policies for the betterment of all, instead of basing policy just on the concerns of urban environmentalists,” he said.

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