A Battle of Political Wills May Determine Chromite Plant

THUNDER BAY – It may come down to a battle of political wills. Liberal Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Rick Bartolucci is stating “With our global reputation for mining excellence, Sudbury is well-positioned for Cliff Reources to establish itself here. Ontario has one of the best corporate tax structures in Canada. We have Northern-specific programs that help companies lower energy costs. Too bad failed NDP leader Howie Hampton is encouraging Cliff Resources to set up shop outside of Ontario. The NDP stands for Never Developed a Plan”.

Bartolucci’s comments are posted on his Facebook page. While they are a response to Howard Hampton’s recent Member’s Statement, on why Cliffs Resources may end up locating a processing plant outside of Ontario, the real contrast is that the Minister is working it appears to bring the plant to Sudbury.

This weekend, Mayor Hobbs, five members of City Council, and City Manager Tim Commisso are at the Good Roads Conference.

It is an opportunity for the Mayor and Council to present a unified front to the Ontario Government, and the Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry. There are an estimated 1200-1300 good paying jobs which will go to the community where Cliffs Resources decides to put their chromite processing facility.

Those kinds of private sector jobs would fuel hundreds of support jobs and provide another solid boost to our local economy.

Lets all hope everyone gets on the same page, and that Thunder Bay puts the same kind of effort to this potential economic project as we have to getting contracts for the city’s Bombardier manufacturing facility.

With the Minister for Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, and Liberal MPP Bill Mauro both carrying the voice of Thunder Bay to the Liberal Caucus, getting our city atop the list should be a goal.

It is going to take efforts from the federal government as well.

There needs to be a direct rail connection to our city from the mine, with the Kinghorn line now gone, that may be a stumbling block for Thunder Bay, but since a rail line will need to be built from the mine, having the line come to the city isn’t an insurmountable project.

It all comes down to a determination, in Thunder Bay that we need those jobs, and the stability to our economy that they would offer.

James Murray