THUNDER BAY – It has been a long effort, and mostly uphill for Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro. When his boss, Dalton McGuinty announced that Ontario would be closing its coal fired generating stations, Mauro saw how that move would impact Atikokan.
Going against McGuinty, Mauro has lobbied for the needed funds to keep the plant, and those key jobs in place for Atikokan.
Mauro’s five year fight has now been won. Mauro enthused, “Today’s announcement marks the end of six years of effort to keep this generating station running. Closure of this plant would have been devastating to the businesses and homeowners in Atikokan”.
Mauro’s efforts demonstrate how it should work. When a local issue is more important than the agenda of the party, it is incumbent upon an elected MPP or MP to stand tall on the local issue.
In this case, Mauro has done exactly that, and the winners are the people of Atikokan and their economy.
Mauro’s move at the provincial level on the coal-fired generating station sets in place an interesting possibility at the federal level. In September both local NDP federal MPs will have the opportunity to vote on the long-gun registry.
Both Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty have been out-spoken in stating that they will vote down the registry. That move could place the two MPs at odds with Jack Layton, the federal NDP leader.
Mauro has pushed the bar higher, not only for Rafferty and Hyer, but also for himself and for Minister Michael Gravelle in Thunder Bay Superior North.
That is a good thing for all of our locally elected officials to consider, and Bill Mauro deserves full credit for pushing the political envelope.
That of course is just my opinion, as always, your mileage may vary.