Then there is a true wildcard in place for the fall election: The Northern Ontario
Heritage Party. Their message is that Northern Ontario needs to take over control
of the economic future of the region because Queen’s Park — when coloured by
any of the tradition mainstream political stripes — simply wants to take wealth
from the North to feed the heavily populated south. (Wayne Snider, May 16, 2011)
Off and running
Last week’s Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities conference was held to deal with municipal issues impacting the North. It turned into a launching pad for provincial election campaign debates. Anyone who wasn’t expecting the conference to be so politically charged, hasn’t been paying attention.
FONOM has been gaining a louder voice in the past few years. That’s because Northern municipalities have had a lot of concerns to voice. It seems Northern leaders have had an endless stream of provincial policies and legislation to contend with, many of which have been contentious.
The Far North Act, the Endangered Species Act (caribou protection), forestry tenure and now the Northern Growth Plan have caused municipalities to wave red flags, as our leaders fear more harm than good is being done to the Northern economy.
It is through groups like FONOM, the Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association and the Northern Mayors’ Task Force that the voice of the North has been raised to the level where it is at least being heard.
But there is a huge difference between hearing and listening.