Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Shared With Region
THUNDER BAY – Premier Kathleen Wynne has completed a tour of Northwestern Ontario. The Premier visited Kenora, Thunder Bay and Fort Severn. In Kenora, the Premier announced Ontario Government funding for the Experimental Lakes Area. The $2 million dollars in funding is the Ontario share that also has federal funding coming to ensure the facility will stay open.
In Kenora, Liberal candidate Anthony Leek commenting on the Premier’s visit said, “The Premier’s visit was well received and her announcement on Monday was very welcomed news by many people. She has such a positive and engaging personality that is easy to appreciate”.
The Government of Canada, the Ontario government and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). This Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates the three parties’ commitment to ensure a smooth transition of the ELA to a new operator.
Premier Wynne Announces ELA Saved
This agreement will allow the research facility to remain open while a long-term agreement is finalized.
The Experimental Lakes Area is a one-of-a-kind, freshwater research region. The research conducted by scientists from right here in Ontario, Canada and internationally, informs pollution reduction strategies, our understanding of climate change and how we can protect the lakes and rivers in Ontario, across Canada and around the world.
Speaking on the ELA, Premier Wynne stated, “I am thrilled that the Experimental Lakes Area will remain open. The research performed here provides invaluable knowledge about climate change and helps protect freshwater systems around the world. I want to thank all parties for working together to help make Ontario a world-class destination for scientific research”.
ELA Announcement Leaves Canada and Manitoba on Sidelines
However the move by the Ontario Premier did leave the federal government sitting on the sidelines. Kenora MP Greg Rickford has voiced concern over the move by the Premier. There was an agreed joint media statement that the federal government and the province of Ontario had agreed to in the announcement. The process of developing those announcements often take a lot of background jousting. The federal government will be putting up money for this project too, as the Province of Manitoba is doing as well.
“I’m just frustrated. I’m upset that the province would do this. I had an opportunity to speak with Minister Gravelle, who I have a great relationship with. In the end, I’m hopeful that this kind of thing won’t happen again,” said Rickford.
Doing Politics the Way Michael Gravelle Does Politics
Manitoba Government Putting Up The Most Money on ELA
The Manitoba government is providing the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) ongoing, secure funding as the organization takes over operation of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), Premier Greg Selinger announced today. The new, more than $6 million, six-year agreement includes $900,000 to be dedicated to funding freshwater research and technology at the ELA.
“The ELA will be invaluable to helping us solve the complex issues surrounding the health of Lake Winnipeg and basin waterway challenges,” said Selinger. “Stable long-term funding is critical for the nationally and internationally important work that is conducted at this facility.”
Premier Greg Selinger noted the Government of Manitoba is the largest core funder of the IISD.
Premier Wynne Visits Washaho – Fort Severn
From Kenora, the Premier flew north to Fort Severn Ontario.
The community on the shores of James Bay is home to polar bears, and the Washaho Cree Nation.
In Washaho, the Premier met with students and Elders. Premier Wynne handed out school supplies and shared with the community her vision for the north.
Premier Wynne On To Thunder Bay
The Premier arrived in Thunder Bay to a full schedule of meetings and events. The Premier led a round table discussion with Finance Minister Souza. Premier Wynne also toured the new courthouse in the downtown south core of the city.
Mayor Hobbs expressed that the Premier has made positive moves toward the event centre in the downtown Waterfront District Business Improvement Area.
On Tuesday night, the Premier was the special guest of the Thunder Bay Superior North Liberals who held Minister Michael Gravelle’s nomination meeting. The Premier seconded the nomination for Minister Gravelle’s sixth confirmation as candidate for the riding. The packed house at the Italian Cultural Centre on Court Street hear an inspired speech from Minister Gravelle.
The Premier spoke in glowing terms about how Michael Gravelle has the kinds of skills in politics that are needed.
On Wednesday, the Premier started the day with students at Woodcrest School, and then attended the long awaited grand opening of the Lakehead University Law School.