“We had a good, open, and frank discussion…” Rafferty

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THUNDER BAY – A meeting held with Industry Minister Tony Clement to discuss on-going issues related to FedNor was constructive and frank, say Northern Ontario New Democrat MPs.

New Democrat MPs, Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie), Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury), Carol Hughes (Algoma- Manitoulin-Kapuskasing), and John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River) held a roundtable with Clement, the minister responsible for FedNor on September 1, at FedNor offices in Sudbury.  NDP Critic for FedNor, Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt) helped arrange the meeting, but was unable to attend.

“I think this meeting was a success, and I thank Minister Clement and Claude for making it happen,” Rafferty said.  “We had a good, open, and frank discussion away from the tense Ottawa environment, and I think it was productive and informative for all involved.”

Yesterday’s roundtable was in response to a letter sent by the Northern Ontario NDP Caucus to incoming FedNor Director General, Aime Dimatteo, congratulating him on his appointment and requesting a meeting at the earliest opportunity.

The Northern Ontario New Democrat MPs shared their concerns over issues related to process, communications, red tape, and timeliness of decision-making at FedNor. In particular, concerns were expressed about turnaround time on funding applications from small rural communities.

“I was satisfied with Minister Clement’s assurances he would address these concerns, and I look forward to maintaining an on-going dialogue with the FedNor Minister,” Rafferty said.

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