SAULT STE. MARIE – The mayors from across Northern Ontario are prepared to step up their action in the hopes of convincing the federal government to improve FedNor for the sake of all the North. Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano hosted the Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors meeting in Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday.
Mayors from Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins, gathered in the Sault to discuss issues with its funding agencies, FedNor and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. (NOHFC), as well as topics that affect all the communities, including rising energy prices, Ring of Fire development and the Municipal Property Assessment Corp. North Bay’s mayor joined the conversation by telephone conference.
Provenzano said FedNor topped the discussion at the meeting and the top elected officials have said they’re going to elevate the discussion about FedNor. He said the mayors want to go to the Northern Ontario Liberal Caucus and have a discussion directly with the region’s federal members of Parliament.
He believes the point will hit home with seven of the 10 Northern Ontario members part of the government, the group believes that they will lead a sympathetic ear to the position.
“We want to reiterate in person the position we took in our paper and just really advocate for the importance of FedNor as a vehicle to develop Northern Ontario,” Provenzano said.
The group believes that if the federal government looks toward the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund as a model, a transformation of FedNor would be beneficial for the North.
“The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund does a lot of great work in Ontario. We think it can be used as a model to advocate federally and we would like to see FedNor partner more closely with the NOHFC,” Provenzano said.
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