Wynne for the North? – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – January 28, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Rick Bartolucci, Sudbury’s Liberal MPP, said Kathleen Wynne has “very strong interpersonal skills” and the two enjoyed a good relationship in the cabinet of outgoing premier Dalton McGuinty.

Bartolucci supported another cabinet minster, Sandra Pupatello, in the leadership campaign to replace McGuinty. Asked whether his support of Pupetello would cause a problem for him now that Wynne is party leader, Bartolucci said no.

“We’re a Liberal family,” he said. “We’re an incredibly united family. I look forward to serving” in whatever capacity Wynne may ask.

Bar tolucci, who has been Sudbury MPP since 1995, has been a cabinet minister since 2003, serving in a number of portfolios, but mostly as minister of Northern Development and Mines. During the leadership campaign, Wynne said she would create a northern cabinet committee and put more emphasis on northern infrastructure — such as roads and bridges — and transportation.

She also said she would be committed to completing the widening of Highway 69, from Sudbury to Parry Sound, to four lanes, and making sure the so-called Ring of Fire, a mineral-rich area in the Far North, is developed. One of the companies active in the Ring of Fire, Cliffs Natural Resources, wants to open a smelter in Capreol to process chromite mined in the Ring of Fire.

That would create up to 500 jobs in Sudbury.

“I want to make sure that we move the Ring of Fire project ahead,” she said in Sudbury during a campaign stop on Jan. 13. “The ferrochrome processor in Capreol is an important project for northeastern Ontario and we want to make sure the Ring of Fire moves ahead in a way that brings First Nations and aboriginal partners together, but also benefits the whole North.”

During the leadership campaign, Wynne promised that after creating a cabinet committee on Northern Ontario, she would convene a cabinet meeting in Northern Ontario within 30 days.

In addition, she promised to bring Northern Ontario mayors together to ensure the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario is on the right track and is committed to the government’s Northern Policy Institute. Released in March 2011, the Northern Growth Plan is Ontario’s blueprint for infrastructure.

Paula Peroni, the PC candidate for Sudbury, called Wynne “a fine woman” that she got to know when she was president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association.

“The problem, however, is that she was actually at the table helping to create a lot of the poor policies that came out of the McGuinty government over the last nine years and she didn’t do anything to stop them.

“She’s going to be part of the problem moving forward,” said Peroni. “Unfortunately it’s going to be more of the same.”

Peroni said if the province wants real change, it will have to change government, rather than just change leaders of the governing party. “I think it’s going to be very difficult for Ontarians going forward, for Sudburians. Things have to change and they are not going to.

“I believe people in Sudbury and Ontario want an election and I suspect that there will be one (this year).”

For Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas, it’s a relief to simply get back to work in Queen’s Park.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/01/28/wynne-for-the-north