Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.
It was clear that Ontario’s premier had on her mind the slow-moving development of the Ring of Fire and the contentious sale of Hydro One during her visit to Thunder Bay on Monday.
Kathleen Wynne brought up the ownership of the massive electrical utility during a speech she gave in the city. “By broadening the ownership of Hydro One, we are able to make the infrastructure investments that communities across the North need to thrive,” she said.
“We are ensuring that the regulation that is in place now remains in place in terms of the setting of rates, in terms of the building of transmission, in terms of services across the province. That was very much a critical part of that decision to broaden the ownership of Hydro One.
“In terms of these investments in infrastructure there are consultations that are going to happen across the provinces. I believe there is one in July happening in Thunder Bay . . . because the decisions have not all been made how those investments are going to be made.”
The premier’s visit wasn’t without detractors, with a group of protesters yelling, “Wait until you get your hydro bills,” among other comments, during a groundbreaking ceremony at St. Joseph’s Care Group, which Wynne attended.
When asked if the infrastructure fund would be available for a Thunder Bay event centre, Wynne reiterated the importance of the consultation process to take place later this summer to decide how the funds are allocated.
The Ring of Fire was another hot topic, as Wynne was pressed on saying that the billion-dollar election promise was real and it is going to go to building infrastructure.
“The development corporation was set up within the 60 days,” she said.
“There has been continued work being done with the Matawa First Nations. It takes time to do these things right. It takes time to make a development like the Ring of Fire a reality. The infrastructure that needs to be built has to be built in partnership, and so that is why the development is important.
“My position stands that at the end of my term I won’t consider us to have been successful unless there has been movement forward. I would suggest to you that there already has been. Are there shovels in the ground yet? No, but there is training happening among First Nations. There is work that has been done in terms of agreement among the First Nations on how we would do resource revenue sharing.”
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