QUEEN’S PARK – “Fanatically endorsed by well-funded, Southern Ontario special interest groups, Dalton McGuinty’s Far North Act is proving the critics right as it kills economic opportunity and turns 225,000 square kilometers of Northern Ontario or one quarter of Ontario’s land mass into a vast park that is off limits to future development,” charges Norm Miller MPP. “The NDP did not support my Bill to repeal the Far North Act, leaving only the Ontario PC Party to fight for the people of Northern Ontario, our jobs and our economic future”.
“The Far North Act leaves the future of our impoverished Communities, many of them remote First Nations, in the hands of Southern Ontario bureaucrats who will likely never set foot in the Far North, and, with the relentless lobbying of activists in Toronto, will determine which areas would become protected with little or no consultation in the North”, added Miller.
“Despite strong, well rationalized concerns presented to the McGuinty government, the Far North Act became law in Ontario almost a year ago with Northern Chambers of Commerce, Mayors, Aboriginal Communities and businesses protesting and urging more consultation and a study of socio economic impacts. Underscoring the potential losses that the Far North Act will impose are recent news articles (Financial Post) in which it is pointed out the comparatively tiny 60 km by 30 km Sudbury basin has generated over a trillion-dollars in the past 120 years. Then there is the gold rich Greenstone belt and the recent discovery of the Chromite deposits of the Ring of Fire that could bring huge economic opportunity to impoverished communities for generations to come. Yet, in the absence of any meaningful geo-science assessment of an area over twice the size of Southern Ontario, the Far North Act was imposed”.
“With no real science, no meaningful consultation and virtually no consideration of economic impacts I know that repealing the Far North Act is considered critical to the people of Northern Ontario. That’s why the Ontario PC Party working so hard to repeal the Act and we are taking the extra step of launching a petition,” commented Miller. “In this time of global economic uncertainty, massive provincial deficits and fears about significant cutbacks to unsustainable social programs and services, the McGuinty government has clearly demonstrated that they prefer to cave in to pressure from special interest groups rather than provide leadership that will lead to real economic opportunity, growth and a better life for Northerners and all of the people of Ontario,” concluded Miller.