Don’t forget North, new premier told – by Laura Stricker (Sudbury Star – January 30, 2013)

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

Now that Kathleen Wynne is Ontario’s newest premier, she needs to make good on her promises to Northern Ontario, the president of Sudbury’s chamber of commerce says.

“It’s fine to make promises during an election campaign, where you really want to see the action. Now let’s have the rubber hit the road and put those plans into action,” Debbi Nicholson said, after Wynne made history by becoming Ontario’s first woman — and openly gay — premier.

“She is talking about Northern Ontario as an integral part of the province, she’s talking about Ring of Fire, she’s talking about working with the Aboriginal community, she’s talking about education and health care and economic development. All of those things are very positive news for Northern Ontario.”

Barb Blasutti, president of the Rainbow local Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, said she’d like to see Wynne withdraw the collective bargaining agreements forced on teachers by current Education Minister Laurel Broten.

“I do know that (ETFO) President Sam Hammond has reached out to her and has had a conversation, and it’s my understanding that they will be meeting this week. So what I would say to her is thank you for reciprocating that invitation, (and ask) that she listen with an open mind and that she allows us to get back to the bargaining table and negotiate fair and respective collective agreements.

“We are well aware of the fiscal realities and we’ve agreed to a wage freeze, so if she could overturn the CBAs (collective bargaining agreements) that Bill 115 did impose on us and let us get back to square one and start over, that would be ideal.”

Nicholson said she’d like to see Wynne hone in on economic development for the North.

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