Archive | Northern Ontario Separation and Alienation

NORTHERN ONTARIO’S DREAM TO SECEDE, REBORN: ‘WE’RE TREATED LIKE A COLONY’ – by Joseph Brean (National Post – April 11, 2018)

http://nationalpost.com/

NORTH BAY — They called it Aurora. It was to be a new province in Canada, carved out of Ontario’s hinterland, so far northwest of Toronto it is a different place, practically Manitoba.

That was in the 1940s, when Hubert Limerick’s New Province League led the push for northern secession. It was hardly the first time, nor the last. The latest effort has taken the form of a revamped and renamed political party with a motley slate of candidates, now set to launch an ambitious election campaign in northern Ontario ridings.

Their aim is to seize the balance of power in what they hope, after June’s election, will be a narrowly divided legislature at Queen’s Park. Then, they want to seek a referendum on the creation — against all constitutional odds — of a new province. Continue Reading →

MEDIA RELEASE: Alliance Between First Nations, Municipal Leaders, and Industry Formed to Defend a Way of Life

Welcomes Nathalie Des Rosiers as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

January 18, 2018 – An Alliance of First Nation and non-First Nation leaders representing rights holders,  stakeholders, municipal leaders, unions, and Ontario’s forest sector has been formed to defend our way of life, with a mandate to grow the responsible use of natural resources in northern and rural Ontario.

Chief Thomas Johnson Jr., Seine River First Nation, said, “In light of reconciliation and economic sustainability, we as First Nations and non-First Nations must rally in support of one another to defend our shared forestry interests and lands unique to northern and rural Ontario through a working alliance, forged on the principles of unity, strength and prosperity.

Our collective action reaches beyond today by working to secure a sustainable future for the generations to come. As the Chief of Seine River, I stand in solidarity with The Alliance. I am calling all treaty partners to join and support us in moving the reconciliation agenda forward.” Continue Reading →

Why Ontario’s north needs regional governance — and soon – by John Michael McGrath (TV Ontario – January 16, 2018)

https://tvo.org/

ANALYSIS: Northern Ontario isn’t just southern Ontario but colder. It also governs itself differently, writes John Michael McGrath, and the flaws in the current system are starting to show

​Timmins Mayor Steven Black started off 2018 on a sour note, thanks to a government seated nearly 700 kilometres away: Ontario’s. After more than a year of negotiations between Timmins and other municipalities that share the costs of the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (which administers services like Ontario Works), the northerners had finally hammered out an agreement that had cleared the necessary hurdles — until the Ministry of Community and Social Services said no via a letter in December.

Minister Helena Jaczek, heeding the call of mayors who preferred the current cost-sharing formula, put a stop to the changes and called on Timmins and its neighbours to reach a mediated solution over the next year. Continue Reading →

Rural medicine: How a gamble to bring in doctors is paying off – by ANDRÉ PICARD (Globe and Mail – January 15, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Twelve years after the first class began at The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, many remote communities have ‘gone from crisis mode to planning mode’ thanks to graduates, the majority of which opt to practise in rural areas

When the Northern Ontario School of Medicine was created, it was based on a simple – but untested – premise: If you educate and train physicians in rural and remote northern communities, they will be more likely to practise there.

Twelve years later, the gamble is paying off better than anyone expected: 94 per cent of NOSM graduates who do a family medicine residency in the North stay there to practise, and 69 per cent of all graduates, specialists and GPs alike, have opted to work in remote and rural areas, particularly Northern Ontario.

“Has it worked?” Dr. Roger Strasser, the dean of NOSM asks. “Yes it has. Many northern communities have gone from crisis mode to planning mode thanks to our graduates. But we’re still a long way from having the medical care we need in Northern Ontario.” Continue Reading →

Column: Sudbury, North not sharing Ontario’s recovery – by Steve Lafleur (Sudbury Star – December 20, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Northern Ontario has seen the most unambiguously negative employment situation since 2008

While Ontario’s overall economy has largely recovered from the Great Recession of 2008 after a great deal of pain, it’s been an uneven recovery. The province had 5.9 per cent more total jobs in 2016 (the latest year of comparable data) than it did in 2008.

But that’s a lackluster rate of job growth and much of the province has fared poorly. In fact, 11 of the province’s 23 urban areas actually had less total jobs in 2016 than in 2008.

Three regions in particular have been left behind: Northern Ontario, eastern Ontario and southwestern Ontario — albeit to a lesser extent. Continue Reading →

Northern urban centres see net job losses – by Antonella Artuso (Timmins Daily Press – November 3, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – Northern Ontario has not shared in the province’s job growth since the 2008 recession, a new report says. In fact, the Fraser Institute report says almost all the job growth in Ontario over the past nine years has been confined to the Toronto and Ottawa areas.

The study finds that 11 of the province’s 23 urban areas actually experienced net job losses from 2008 to 2016. including every major city in Northern Ontario.

Uneven Recovery, by Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen, reports that while huge swaths of the province have lost jobs since the recession, their economic pain is hidden in Ontario-wide statistics because of the over-sized impact of the City of Toronto. Continue Reading →

No One Wants To Talk About Ontario’s Disappearing Blue-Collar Communities – by Robert Waite (Huffington Post – October 16, 2017)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

A lot can happen to a city or town in 35 years. Take Toronto — in 1982 the city still sported nicknames like “Toronto the Good” and “Hog Town.”  Visitors from New York and Montreal had another word for it: “Boring.”

Several decades (and several million more people) later, Toronto has transformed into one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities.

But this story isn’t about Toronto. It is about a town in Northern Ontario, Kapuskasing, located a good 10-hour drive (about 800 kilometres) away. It is about the fact that even in an age of global warming, life in Canada north of 45 degrees latitude (49.4, to be exact) can be precarious. Continue Reading →

Could more autonomy hurt the north? One expert says yes – by Frank Giorno (Timmins Today – September 28, 2017)

https://www.timminstoday.com/

“For example, Manitoba established a university in its north in the 19th
Century, but in Ontario it took until the 1960s to start up a Northern
university. The decision was made in Queen’s Park,” said Robinson. “Queen’s
Park is keeping the University of Toronto’s mining school when it could be
more successful in northern Ontario.”

Robinson spoke about the success of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and
Services Association (SAMSSA) in promoting northern Ontario mining and
how Queen’s Park disagreed with its development.

TIMMINS — Striving for greater autonomy for northern Ontario comes with risk, says an expert who spoke at a conference on the state of the region. Devolved jurisdictions like Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland have not succeeded as proponents expected, said David MacKinnon, a former senior civil servant with the Ontario government’s Ministry of Finance who has also worked in Nova Scotia.

“The question to ask is whether devolution of power will lead to improved governance, or perhaps the opposite,” MacKinnon told conference-goers at a two-day conference held in Timmins by the Northern Policy Insitutute. “Devolution does have serious risks in my view.” Continue Reading →

Far northern Ontario provincial ridings to be doubled (CBC News Sudbury – August 8, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Legislature to vote this fall to split current two electoral ridings into four in time for 2018 election

The Ontario legislature will vote this fall on adding two more ridings to the province. Over the spring months, an electoral boundaries commission traveled across northern Ontario seeking feedback from residents.

The panel was tasked with finding a way to better represent the Far North region at Queen’s Park. That region is currently divided into two ridings: Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins James Bay. In its final report published Tuesday, the commission recommends doubling the number of ridings to four.

The other ridings to be created would be Kiiwetinoong in the northwest, and Mushkegowuk in the northeast. Kiiwetinoong would be a mostly Indigenous riding, while Mushkegowuk would be mostly Francophone. Continue Reading →

Ontario Liberals’ plan for two new ridings could violate the Charter and cost PCs the election – by Josh Dehaas (National Post – August 8, 2017)

http://nationalpost.com/

Josh Dehaas is a Toronto-based freelance writer.

Ontario’s Liberal government will soon consider a proposal to add two new seats in northern Ontario. If you live in the south of the province, that should worry you. Your vote would count for less and your Charter rights might be violated. If you’re a Progressive Conservative, it could cost your party the election.

The Liberals set up the Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission in May and asked them to fly around the north consulting on whether to add one or two seats to the electoral map in northern Ontario. The stated goal is to create what Attorney General Yasir Naqvi called “predominantly Indigenous” ridings.

The commission came back with their interim report last month and it states—surprise, surprise—that northerners would prefer adding two new ridings, instead of just one. While the public won’t see the final report until Naqvi makes it public, the plan put forward in the interim report is to chop two huge, far north districts into four, creating four new seats.  Two of the seats (Mushkegowuk and Kiiwetinong) would be majority-Indigenous, and one (Timmins) would be about 40 per cent Francophone. Continue Reading →

Ontario North’s woes stump ministers – by Gord Young (North Bay Nugget – May 13, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Provincial cabinet ministers were unable to offer municipal leaders any solutions Friday to the long-time challenge of growing Northern Ontario.

Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault and Natural Resources Minister Kathryn McGarry participated in the “bear pit session” at the annual Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference in North Bay, where they were asked about how to bridge the gap between the Greater Toronto Area, which is experiencing tremendous growth, and the North, where the population is declining in most areas.

Unfortunately, the three couldn’t provide a cure-all for the North’s woes. “We can do a lot more to talk about promoting growth and expansion in Northern Ontario by utilizing the facilities that we already have,” said Thibeault, referring to post-secondary institutions such as Canadore College and Nipissing University. Continue Reading →

Premier wants ‘shovels in the ground’ at Ring of Fire – by Gord Young (North Bay Nugget – May 12, 2017)

http://www.nugget.ca/

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne committed Thursday to consult with Northern Ontario municipal leaders on economic development strategies for the region.

Wynne told delegates at the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference that’s she’s “absolutely open” to a suggestion brought to her during the event that she sit down with the mayors of Northern Ontario’s five largest municipalities, as well as the heads of FONOM and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, to discuss economic development.

Although the province is already working on an economic development plan, Wynne said she wants to hear from the groups in order to get an immediate take on what some of the opportunities may be and to discuss ways to improve what’s being done. Continue Reading →

Report urges new thinking for Northern Ontario – by Staff (Sudbury Star – May 9, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

New thinking is needed if Northern Ontario is ever going to restructure and reinvigorate its economy, a new report from the Northern Policy Institute suggests. Author Charles Conteh, a Brock University professor, said in his study, Economic Zones of Northern Ontario: City-Regions and Industrial Corridors, that Northern communities must be given the tools to control their economic development.

He said the top-down approach of senior levels of government towards Northern Ontario hasn’t — and won’t — work. “Due to the significant diversity between communities in Northern Ontario, policies and planning aimed at addressing specific economic challenges are more valuable than one-size-fits-all, top-down programs,” Conteh said.

“Economic zones offer an opportunity for upper levels of government to frame a new kind of partnership guided by the priorities of communities.” Conteh said it’s a mistake to think of Northern Ontario as one or two regions, or as five urban-centred regions, because they do not reflect the reality of northern diversity. Continue Reading →

Column: ‘Quick fix’ budget leaves Ontario’s North behind – by John Vanthof (Sudbury Star – May 3, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

John Vanthof is the NDP MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane.

The Kathleen Wynne government released its latest budget last Thursday, and it is disappointing to say the least. The first thing that struck me was the Liberal government’s continued refusal to stop the sale of Hydro One. Their reasoning is disturbingly clear: The Liberals are using the one-time proceeds from the sale of Hydro One to balance the government’s books.

Even worse, the government has lost more than $1 billion of revenue; these funds are now going to private investors who have bought 30 per cent of Hydro One shares. Going forward, this revenue will continue to be lost every year to private interests, instead of funding the programs and services that Ontario taxpayers rely on.

While the government has proposed to lower the hydro rates by decreasing delivery charges, this plan is funded by the taxpayer through government borrowing. Ultimately, you and I will continue pay the full hydro bill and resulting interest on this government’s debts. Continue Reading →

Budget missing Ring of Fire cash, says Conservative critic – by Leith Dunick (tbnewswatch.com – April 27, 2017)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

Ontario budget also guts Northern Development and Mines spending by $70 million, says Vic Fedeli

TORONTO – The Conservative’s finance critic has slammed the Ontario budget, saying it proves the governing Liberals have given up on Northern Ontario. Vic Fedeli said the budget, released on Thursday, includes a $70-million cut to Northern Development and Mines and the $1 billion promised for Ring of Fire infrastructure has mysteriously disappeared.

“The Ministry helps to establish mining operations all over Northern Ontario, creating good well-paying jobs that help to grow our Northern economy — obviously not a concern of this government,” Fedeli said.

“It came as a serious shock to see that this year’s budget removed all mention of the Ring of Fire. After three years of promises the Wynne government has completely abandoned this critical mining project,” Fedeli said. Continue Reading →