THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Progressive Conservatives have launched Changebook North. Minister of Northern Development Mines and Forestry Michael Gravelle MPP Thunder Bay Superior North issued the following statement on the PC plan:
“Tim Hudak and the PC’s have put together a document for the North that lacks substance. It is clear that Hudak will continue to neglect Northern Ontario, just as he did when he was the Southern Minister of Northern Development and Mines. He talks about job creation, but under his government’s watch the North lost 8,000 jobs and moved thousands of good-paying government jobs south. And he talks about NOHFC job creation; but under the last PC government the private sector was excluded from accessing the fund, meaning fewer jobs were created.
“As well, when he talks about the North’s resource sectors, Forestry and Mining, I’d like to remind people that his party has voted against every single investment we have made in the forest industry. And when it comes to mining they seem to disregard the current positive state of the sector. Exploration is forecast to reach its highest level ever in 2011 at $940 million, up from $800 million in 2010; new mines are opening and old one’s expanding.
“And it’s no surprise that they didn’t mention our Northern highways. I am very proud that our government has invested record amounts, nearly $700 million a year, while their government upon taking office, cut Northern highways spending by 17.2 %. The truth is that you can’t trust Tim Hudak when it comes to the North and all you have to do is look at his record to prove it.”