It was the meeting the union at Ontario Northland had been waiting for. Brian Kelly, spokesman for the General Chairperson’s Association, had a 30-minute meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne Wednesday to discuss the future of the ONTC.
He was joined by Mayor Al McDonald, ONTC President Paul Goulet and Ted Hargreaves – ONTC Chair – who serves in an Ex Officio capacity as a resource for the committee.
“The premier reiterated that no final decision has been made. She wants to see a plan before that happens,” Kelly said. He said for the first time the premier has asked the union and ONTC senior management to meet and devise a plan for the future of the ONTC.
“We will keep ONTC in one piece and we want our employees to know there is a future for them at the Ontario Northland.” McDonald said it was the best news in the last two years. He said the plan created by the union and Ontario Northland senior management will be presented to the Minister’s Advisory Committee.
“This was the best news of the day. This public plan will be taken seriously,” McDonald said.
“This should send confidence to the men and women at the ONTC, they certainly need it.”
Wynne was in North Bay to address a variety of issues, as well as announce $600,000 from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to Drillers Edge. The local company is a manufacturer of core drilling tools.
But it was the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission that dominated the media scrum with Wynne Wednesday morning before the closed-door meetings with the union and Ontario Northland senior staff.
Wynne told the local media there is a sense of urgency on the issue, which is one of the main reasons she decided to travel to North Bay to meet firsthand with the people engaged in the ONTC discussions.
“We’re trying to work with each of the parts of the ONTC and make the best decision for each one,” she said.
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