THUNDER BAY – Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle today said that “Staying on track to eliminate the deficit will mean a stronger economy for the North and all of Ontario — creating more jobs and protecting the gains we’ve made in our schools and hospitals”.
Speaking to students at the kick-off to Innovation Week at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Gravelle spoke of the government’s plan to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18. Steady, measured, relentless progress will come by building on the province’s strong fundamentals — excellence in education, strong health care, renewed infrastructure, clean energy and tax competitiveness.
Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro added, “Our government is aware of the importance of a quality education as the world continues to steadily move towards an economy where knowledge based jobs continue to grow. Affordability and accessibility to education are key ingredients to helping prepare an Ontario workforce for that reality.”
The two MPPs assert that “The Ontario government is strengthening the economy and creating jobs in the Thunder Bay region, by investing in projects that include:
- Almost $41 million in research institutions like Lakehead University, the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy and the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.
- A $100 million project by St. Joe’s Care Group for a new long-term care home of about 450 beds, 132 supportive housing units and will create about 110 jobs.
- Four-laning Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon.
- Converting the Atikokan and Thunder Bay Generating Stations from coal to biomass and natural gas, protecting jobs at the plants and creating construction jobs.
“The coming provincial budget will lay out the next steps in the plan to eliminate the deficit and grow the economy. The government will protect health care and education and will not raise taxes; it will find ways, through reform, to deliver government services more efficiently”, Gravelle said.