After two back-to-back meetings with other Northern municipalities and policy makers, Mayor Marianne Matichuk walked away feeling cautiously optimistic.
“I was very impressed that the premier came, (and) quite a few ministers, and they were really listening to our concerns in the North. So that’s a really good sign. And people were very pleased,” she said Friday.
Matichuk was speaking after attending the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference this past week in Parry Sound. Prior to that, on May 3, Matichuk was in North Bay for a meeting with the mayors from North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins.
The three-day FONOM”con-f erence featured talks with provincial and federal ministers, as well as outside experts. Premier Kathleen Wynne was also there.
“Kathleen Wynne was very open about wanting to work with people in the North. She wanted to hear our concerns. She also committed to working with not just municipalities. She’s stated specifically that she wanted to work with the federal government to resolve problems, because she feels that we all need to work together,” said Matichuk.
However, the mayor was disappointed Wynne and her ministers didn’t offer much commitment to getting the mining-rich Ring of Fire area of northwestern Ontario going quickly.
“There is frustration from stakeholders, and I wanted to know what priority of the government this is. It’s the future of the North, and actually job growth for all of Ontario. I asked what they could do to expedite this process, because we need to get this done.”
According to Wynne, said Matichuk, she recently met with chiefs in the Ring of Fire area. It’s a good start, but not enough, she added.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/05/11/wynne-is-listening-matichuk