Archive | Northern Ontario Politics

If it is mined in Ontario, process it here, Horwath says – by Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star – August 9, 2011)

Tanya Talaga is a Queen’s Park reporter with the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion.

In a campaign swing through northern Ontario, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath vowed to stop resources mined in the province from being exported if they can be processed here. “Companies are pulling them out of the ground and shipping them elsewhere for processing and it doesn’t have to be that way,” Horwath said Monday from Dubreuilville, Ont.

“We need to be conscious about what is happening with our natural resources. It helps us put some control over how much of our resources get processed and it creates good jobs for Ontario families.”

Horwath said the time to secure mining and resource jobs is now as Ontario begins to develop the Ring of Fire, a $30 billion chromite deposit nearly 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. In December 2010, Swiss mining giant Xstrata announced it was shutting down its Timmins Kidd Met Site smelter and transferring the operation to Quebec. The move eliminated 700 jobs, she added. Continue Reading →

Don’t blame NDP [for northern alienation]: Horwath – by Ron Grech (The Timmins Daily Press – July 30, 2011)

 The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at [email protected].

Leader says fault of unsympathetic government lies with ruling parties

If Northerners feel alienated by Queen’s Park, don’t blame the New Democrats, says Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

“The reality is that we have had a majority Liberal government for two terms now that has really done nothing to make Northern communities strong again and to make sure Northerners have more control over their future,” said Horwath, during a brief stopover at the Timmins airport while on her way to Kirkland Lake Friday morning.

The message coming out of local Progressive Conservative and Liberal camps this week was that the concerns of Timmins-James Bay are being ignored by the provincial government because voters here keep re-electing an NDP representative, not a member of the ruling government.

“I don’t think that is the case at all,” Horwath replied when The Daily Press presented those views to the NDP leader. “As a matter of fact, it is up to government to make sure we have a strong Northern part of the province and the Liberals have not done that, notwithstanding how many MPPs they have that are Liberal from Northern Ontario.” Continue Reading →

ACCENT: Inside-out city [economic challeges of Sudbury geography] – by Mike Whitehouse (Sudbury Star – July 30, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. [email protected] 

The mining supply and service industry evolved on its own … In Sudbury, this sector
employs 13,800 people and generates $3.94 billion in economic activity…. Under the
radar, this rag-tag group of largely family-run fabricators, welders, communications
experts, technologists, engineers and suppliers spread across the city have taken
on a life of their own. These businesses share common causes and face common
challenges. They have developed their own networks, working relationships and de
facto strategies designed to meet these challenges. And, at least in the beginning,
they did so without encouragement or help from anyone.
(Mike Whitehouse – July 30, 2011 – Sudbury Star)

Look at a Google satellite map of northeastern Ontario, down onto a landscape without labels. The most visible feature is a wide, grey scar to the south cut into the Canadian Shield. Free of political boundaries, this is how the world knows Sudbury.

Zoom in a little closer and Greater Sudbury appears as a gormless sea of blobs, shapes and lines, islands adrift in the deep green Boreal forest. Look down on most Ontario cities and you’ll see patterns emerge. Confined urban matrixes with patches of remna nt forest and wetlands inside. From above, these cities define themselves. They have beginnings and ends.

Greater Sudbury is the opposite. It is nothing more than patches of development cut out of the endless Boreal forest, arbitrarily confined to borders that climb like a staircase to the northeast. It’s like taking any other city and turning it inside-out, and wondering why it doesn’t look right. Continue Reading →

[Northern Ontario Heritage Party] NOHP learning candidates don’t grow on trees – by Wayne Snider (The Timmins Daily Press – July 26, 2011)

Wayne Snider is the city editor for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at [email protected].

About a year ago, the Northern Ontario Heritage Party was building momentum. NOHP president Ed Deibel was in the midst of getting the party officially registered. Support was growing. Plans were in the works to run NOHP candidates in all 11 Northern Ontario ridings during the provincial election.

Today, however, Deibel is struggling to get candidates. While he says there are three people on the verge of being confirmed as candidates in several ridings — including Cochrane-Temiskaming — as of this writing the Northern Ontario Heritage Party has nobody running.

Zero. Nada. Bupkis. Needless to say, Deibel is disappointed.

“We’re having problems getting candidates. I thought they would be lined up,” he said. “There is no question, by the support and comments we’ve been getting from Northerners, that the people of Northern Ontario are fed up. Continue Reading →

Updated Mining Marshall Plan for Northern Ontario – by Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant and strategist who writes extensively on the mining sector. [email protected]

A version of this article was published in the August issue of Northern Ontario Business and the September issue of the Canadian Mining Journal.

What a difference a decade makes! Ten years ago, according to many in the Toronto media, mining was a sunset industry and a modern industrial country/province should not be in such a supposedly “low tech” sector. Some even thought we should let the industry die and allow lesser developed countries to be the primary suppliers of mineral commodities.

At that time, Ontario budgets were only a billion or two in the red, and its manufacturing sector was the cornerstone of a strong economy. Today, emerging markets like China, India are competing with the United States, Japan, South Korea and other developed nations for access to mineral resources around the world, the basic building blocks of any modern industrialized society. The mining sector has become one of the most strategic sectors of the global economy. And Ontario is a “have not” province, set to receive $2.2 billion in equalization transfers in the next fiscal year and run a $16.6 billion deficit.

Currently, Ontario faces a number of key economic problems including an aging workforce, crumbling infrastructure and provincial budget deficits that will not be able to sustain existing social programs. In addition, the South’s manufacturing might, which supported Ontario’s high standard of living since the 1950s, is under extreme stress due to globalization, a weak U.S. market – the destination of almost 90% of our manufactured goods – and high electricity costs. Continue Reading →

Northern [Ontario] plans fail to hit the mark – by Brian MacLeod (Sudbury Star – July 21, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. Brian MacLeod is the managing editor. [email protected]

When the Ontario Liberals unveiled the draft of their Growth Plan for Northern Ontario in 2010, some critics said it lacked plans for implementation, such as timing, funding and sufficient monitoring.

And they complained it didn’t protect resources, a sore point in the North, since two of the largest mining companies in the world — Inco and Falconbridge — were taken over by foreign companies.

Xstrata, which bought Falconbridge, shut down the Kidd Creek metallurgical plant in Timmins, and changes sought by Vale, which bought Inco, resulted in a year-long strike by the United Steelworkers.

Changebook North, the Progressive Conservatives’ attempt at showing love for Northern Ontario, whose 850,000 citizens have a hard time feeling amore from Queen’s Park, suffers from an even more glaring lack of details.

Of the two growth plans, the Liberals’, at 60 pages, is more complex and wide-ranging, but it’s not a blueprint — there’s too much wiggle room and too much left to interpretation. Continue Reading →

[Tim Hudak’s] Changebook North must be more than wish list – by Wayne Snider (Timmins Daily Press – July 19, 2011)

Wayne Snider is the city editor for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at [email protected].

OPINION: Conservatives must be committed to following through

The Progressive Conservatives won’t have a problem selling their platform in Northern Ontario this provincial election. The big question mark for the Tories is whether or not most Northerners will believe the sales pitch. As the saying goes: If an offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak revealed the platform, changebook North, last week. It reads like a political wish list for Northern Ontario.

It includes promises things such as the cancellation of the Far North Act, giving all municipalities a share of the gas tax, letting Northern communities decide how they should grow, and ensuring First Nations are real partners and will benefit from the wealth creation in the North. From reduced hydro bills to cutting HST on home heating, a promise is in there.

“The people calling for change the loudest are from the North, and with good reason,” the document’s intro states. “If Ontario is the engine of Confederation, then Northern Ontario is the fuel — the lumber, the minerals and the minds that power us forward. But for too long, the needs of the North have been ignored.

“The Southern Ontario special interests, with their fantasy view of what Northern living really is, have far too much say of the decisions that affect actual Northern families. The North needs change.” Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario Policy Advice for Tim Hudak – by Livio Di Matteo (July 14, 2011)

Livio Di Matteo is Professor of Economics at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Visit his new Economics Blog “Northern Economist” at http://ldimatte.shawwebspace.ca/

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak is in Thunder Bay today and along with an appearance at The Hoito will also be addressing a luncheon being sponsored by the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.  According to the most recent poll by Ipsos-Reid, Mr. Hudak’s Conservatives hold an 11 point lead over the Liberals overall but have even stronger support outside of the GTA.  Even Northern Ontario apparently has Mr. Hudak in the lead.  However, it is only July and the election is not until October and given the voting tradition in the North, red and orange rather than blue are the usual autumn colours. Perhaps, Mr. Hudak will prove them wrong.  Nevertheless, internal party polling must have revealed this trend earlier, which is why this week also saw more aggressive Liberal ads attacking Tim Hudak.

Mr. Hudak, should he become premier, will certainly have his hands full given Ontario’s productivity challenge, Ontario’s infrastructure challenge and Ontario’s fiscal challenge.  Moreover, there is also Ontario’s northern economic development challenge.  What policy suggestions would Northern Economist like to leave with Mr. Hudak? Continue Reading →

Hudak promises change for the North – by Wayne Snider (Timmins Daily Press – July 15, 2011)

Wayne Snider is the city editor for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at [email protected].

“I understand why people would be cynical. For years the government has put
the wish list of Southern Ontario special interest groups ahead of Northern
Ontario….We need to demonstrate to all Ontarians the vital need to develop
the Ring of Fire….This is a once in a century opportunity.”
(PC Leader Tim Hudak – July 15, 2011)

www.changebook.ca/north

Tory leader says Kidd Creek smelter shutdown was avoidable

Tim Hudak says the closure of the smelter at the Kidd Creek Metallurgical Site was completely avoidable. It was a matter of government priorities.

The provincial Progressive Conservative Leader unveiled his election platform for Northern Ontario this week. Dubbed changebook North, Hudak claims his party will create an environment that will allow the region to prosper.

High hydro costs and taxation, he said, are two of the reasons that companies like Xstrata Copper take jobs out of province. “(Premier Dalton) McGuinty failed to provide the leadership necessary to keep those jobs,” Hudak said in an interview with The Daily Press on Friday. “This was a catastrophic loss for not only Timmins, but for all of Ontario.

“We want to make Northern Ontario attractive for investment. High taxes and hydro rates have moved Ontario to the bottom of the list for investment.” Continue Reading →

Tories roll out Northern Ontario platform – Star Staff (Sudbury Star – July 15, 2011)

 The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

www.changebook.ca/north

A Progressive Conservative government would hold one cabinet meeting a year in Northern Ontario and fork over a portion of the taxes generated by new mines to northern municipalities.

A PC government would also let Northern Ontario’s towns and cities decide how they should develop and grow, the party’s candidate for Nickel Belt said Thursday.

“I’m hoping that every Northerner will read what the (Tim) Hudak government has planned for the future of the North,” Peroni said in a release.

“They will clearly see that changebook North is the result of listening to thousands of northerners in our Have Your Say Ontario survey, that it protects the Northern way of life and that it keeps wealth in the North. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Tim Hudak and Ontario PCs Only Party Listening and Delivering for Northern Ontario Families

July 14th, 2011

www.changebook.ca/north

NEWS:

THUNDER BAY — Today, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak released changebook North – the Party’s specific commitments to Northern Ontario families to build stronger communities and create Northern jobs. While Dalton McGuinty listens to Southern Ontario special interests to create policies that simply don’t work in the North, only Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party have been listening to and delivering for Northern Ontario families.

Any policy to create jobs and ensure a strong future for the North has three questions at its core: Does it originate in the North? Does it protect the Northern way of life? Does it keep wealth in the North? Only if the answer was “yes” to all three would we include it in changebook North. Continue Reading →

Chance to make decisions [Ontario Think North event] – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 17, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. [email protected]

The Ontario Government is pushing ahead with one of the key planks in the Northern Ontario Growth Plan, says the minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry.

“Northerners have said that when decisions are being made, they want it to be an independent not-for-profit policy institute,” Michael Gravelle told reporters Thursday, during a visit to Greater Sudbury to give a speech at the Think North 2 Summit.

“It’s a good chance by northerners to make some decisions on what works. The institute will be able to look for evidence- based advice on what can work the best in Northern Ontario.”

Gravelle said the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation will provide $5 million to get the new policy institute running. One of the first steps in the process, he said, will be to get a board of governors and a board of directors in place.

The minister also said he has met with Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux and Lakehead president Brian Stevenson and asked for their advice on the policy institute since both have a strong background and experience in preparing policy. Continue Reading →

An Ontario gold rush – by Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun – June 10, 2011)

Christina Blizzard is the Queen’s Park columnist for the Toronto Sun, the city’s daily tabloid newspaper.  [email protected]

Remember a couple of years ago, Premier Dalton McGuinty said this province
 could no longer count on “pulling stuff out of the ground” for jobs? All goes to
show just how wrong he was. And how out of touch, not just with northern Ontario,
but with the economy. (Christina Blizzard – June 10, 2011)

Mining companies spending billions here in search of riches. So why did Dalton McGuinty blow them off?

Skyrocketing world gold prices are providing a boost to this province’s northern economy, as mining companies look to old mines in search of the precious metal.

Detour Lake gold mine, near Cochrane, will be the largest gold mine in Canada when it starts production in 2013. Based on today’s spot gold price, it will generate more than $1 billion a year for 21 years, says Detour Gold President and CEO Gerald Panneton.

And while the price of gold, like all resources, fluctuates, he says gold’s been around for 6,000 years and it’s here to stay. “People have tried to push it away and then get rid of it, but it always came back,” Panneton said in an interview.

Gold is tough to replace and is the most versatile, malleable element you can find. “If you try to accumulate value in silver or copper or zinc, you’ll need a huge warehouse,” he said. Continue Reading →

Mining Marshall Plan for Northern Ontario – Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant and strategist who writes extensively on the mining sector. [email protected]

What a difference a decade makes! Ten years ago, according to many in the Toronto-media, mining was a sunset industry and any modern industrial country/province should not be in such a supposedly “low tech” sector. Some even thought we should let the industry die and allow lesser developed and some politically unstable countries be the primary suppliers of mineral commodities.

At that time, Ontario budgets were only a billion or two in the red, and its manufacturing sector was the cornerstone of a strong economy. Today, emerging markets like China, India are competing with the U.S., Japan, South Korea and other developed nations for access to mineral resources around the world, the basic building blocks of any modern industrialized society. The mining sector has become one of the most strategic sectors of the global economy. And Ontario is a “have-not” province.

Currently, Ontario faces a number of key economic problems including an aging workforce, crumbling infrastructure and provincial budget deficits that will not be able to sustain existing social programs. In addition, the south’s manufacturing might, which supported Ontario’s high standard of living since the 1950s, is under extreme stress due to globalization, a weak U.S. market – the destination of almost 90% of our manufactured goods – and high electricity costs. Continue Reading →

Rails to the Ring of Fire – Stan Sudol (Toronto Star – May 30, 2011)

The Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada, has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, mining columnist and blogger: [email protected]

Notwithstanding the recent correction in commodity prices, near-record highs for gold, silver and a host of base metals essential for industry confirm that the commodity “supercycle” is back and with a vengeance.

China, India, Brazil and many other developing economies are continuing their rapid pace of growth. In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest economy and surpassed the United States to become the biggest producer of cars.

In March, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney remarked: “Commodity markets are in the midst of a supercycle. . . . Rapid urbanization underpins this growth. . . . Even though history teaches that all booms are finite, this one could go on for some time.”

Quebec’s visionary 25-year “Plan Nord” will see billions invested in northern resource development and infrastructure to take advantage of the tsunami in global metal demand and generate much needed revenue for government programs. Continue Reading →