Brown critiques Wynne on Ring of Fire – by Emma Meldrum (Timmins Daily Press – August 28, 2017)

The Ontario Progressive Conservative leader spoke to the press from Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa on Friday. He suggested that Liberal leader Wynne address Ontario’s opioid crisis with an awareness campaign.

“Today, I want to announce here in Timmins that our Ontario PC caucus will introduce a bill calling for the Liberal government to invest at least ten per cent of their advertising budget this year into an opioid awareness campaign, and they should do this immediately,” he said.

Brown said government ads have skyrocketed, with $57 million being spent in this fiscal year. “They’re using taxpayer dollars to campaign, and the real purpose of government advertising is for a public good, and understanding this is a crisis where we need an education campaign. There’s a lack of understanding and awareness.”

Brown said he heard from parents whose children died of opioid overdoses. “They didn’t see it coming,” he said, noting that just a few poppy seeds of fentanyl can kill a young person.

“When you see that level of misunderstanding, of course we have a duty to have a public education campaign.” Brown was also critical of Wynne’s efforts on the Ring of Fire.

“The Ring of Fire is a resource estimated to be worth $60 billion. It would create thousands of jobs in Northern Ontario, including for members of Indigenous communities. It was discovered a decade ago, and here we are ten years later and nothing has happened. Nothing but fancy talk,” he said.

“Now that we’re months away from a provincial election, Kathleen Wynne, despite doing nothing over the last number of years on the Ring of Fire, is now saying, in an election year, that she’s going to act on the Ring of Fire. She’s had ten years to act.

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