THUNDER BAY – “First they said they had heard enough from Northern Ontario on this Bill and there was no need to travel to the North. Now they have time allocated this bill which will shut down any further debate. Voters in Thunder Bay-Atikokan deserve a government which will listen to them,” stated Dr. Fred Gilbert, the Progressive Conservative candidate for the Atikokan riding.
Gilbert’s comments come as the PC content, “The McGuinty Liberals have once again closed the door on Northern Ontario with their decision to shut down the debate on Bill 151, Forest Tenure Modernization Act. Ironically, the Liberal Government filed the motion to shut down debate yesterday, the same day an opposition motion was being debated in the Legislature regarding the Liberals’ contempt for Northern Ontario Consultations”.
“In a decision that would surprise no one,” charges Randy Hillier, the PC Critic for Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, “The liberals filed a time allocation motion Wednesday which would end the debate on Bill 151 with no further debate or consultation. Liberal MPP’s Mike Brown (Algoma-Manitoulin) and David Orazietti (Sault Ste. Marie) have spent the past few weeks shutting out their own constituents, obeying Dalton McGuinty’s order to cut out Northern Ontario. Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro decided the debate was not important enough to participate – he asked to be substituted out of committee completely, dodging the debate”.
“Instead of consulting with their own constituents, Brown and Orazietti cancelled the consultations which would have sent the General Government Committee to Northern Ontario. Instead, Brown demanded those same constituents travel from the North to Toronto,” added Hillier.
The PCs state that “Following Committee consultations last week, the opposition members on the committee were successful in passing a motion which slowed down hearings so that the committee could appropriately assess the amendments put forward by each party, many of which were recommended by many presenters from Northern Ontario. Instead, the McGuinty Liberals used this time to cut off the debate completely – shutting the north out completely”.