KENORA – Sarah Campbell, the NDP candidate for Kenora-Rainy River is welcoming news that Abitibi-Bowater has decided to reopen their Ignace sawmill operations with cautious optimism. The company, anticipating an increased demand in the coming years, announced yesterday that it would reopen its Ignace operations after a five year closure. “It’s very good news for the community,” says Campbell. “Ignace was hit hard by the downturn in the forest industry. Properly managed, I believed the industry will rebound in Northwestern Ontario.”
Campbell says the 90 new jobs created by the sawmill’s reopening will help to rejuvenate the community that was devastated by Dalton McGuinty’s and the Liberal Party’s mismanagement of the Ontario economy.
Campbell is lashing out at Thunder Bay Atikokan MP Bill Mauro over the forestry issue. “A few months ago Liberal MPP Bill Mauro was telling everyone that the forest industry was dead. He was saying that we should all pack up and move on. I said then and throughout my campaign that Bill Mauro was wrong. The Liberals are wrong. This is proof that the Ontario NDP knows our industry and the people living in the north. We have the skill, commitment and energy to rebuild the industry and help it regain its prominence in the north.”
“The first step in ensuring a full rebound”, says Campbell, “is electing an NDP government that is prepared to set the proper economic conditions for growth. Those steps include fair hydro prices for northern Ontario that reflect the low-cost of generation in the region, ensuring greater local involvement on forest tenure regulations and regulations to ensure that resources that are harvested in Ontario are processed in Ontario”.
“The fact is there is a bright future for our resource-based economy,” says Campbell. “Softwood lumber supplies in the U.S. midwest and British Columbia are drying up or headed to other markets in Asia. Demand is going to increase and companies are going to be looking to northern Ontario to supply that lumber. We need to make sure the conditions are in place to create sustainable good paying jobs for our community. Only the NDP is prepared to create those conditions.”