Wynne vows to give voice to Northerners – by Kyle Gennings (Timmins Daily Press – January 12, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Provincial Liberal leadership frontrunner Kathleen Wynne says Northerners are not alone in thinking Queen’s Park is disconnected from the needs of their region.

Wynne paid a visit to Timmins on Friday. During a breakfast meeting with party supporters at Cedar Meadows Resort, she shared her views. Wynne spoke at length with party members about changes in how Queen’s Park deals with the North, apologizing for the past and promising a brighter future.

“No matter where the premier comes from, they have to understand the people of the regions that make up this province,” said Wynne. “So I made that my business as a minister and I will continue to make that my commitment as premier.

“I had made a commitment as a leadership candidate that I would attempt to get to every region of the province and the Northeast is extremely important to the health of the province.” Although Wynne understands the feelings of isolation in the North, she said the same sentiments are felt by every inch of the province.

“If I go to rural Ontario, there are people who feel that rural Ontario in the south has had a rough ride. If I go to downtown Toronto, I can hear people say that they feel that there have been decisions made that they feel have impacted them negatively,” said Wynne. “I think that depending on the decision and depending on the impact, that there are people who will feel disenfranchised depending on where we are in the province.”

Wynne plans on expanding the government’s presence in Northern Ontario through a series of committees. It’s a move she hopes will ensure transparency in decision making.

“I think it is very important that in a systematic on-going way, we have the ability in government to look at Northern issues in government and look at all policy issues in government through a Northern lens,” she said.

“I would create a cabinet committee that would bring ministers from across government and as policies come through that are going to have an impact in the North. We have that conversation before it is finalized because it is important that we recognize that the North isn’t just about the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.”

Building communication with the North is a priority for Wynne.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2013/01/11/wynne-vows-to-give-voice-to-northerners