Premier McGuinty is expected to make an announcement


Dalton McGuintyTHUNDER BAY – Premier Dalton McGuinty is in Thunder Bay today. It appears that while the Premier is here for the celebration at Bombardier the Ring of Fire is also on the Premier’s mind. The Premier will, along with more than 6,200 Ontario-based employees at their manufacturing facilities in Toronto, Thunder Bay, North Bay, and Kingston will celebrate Bombardier’s 20 years of manufacturing, research, development and investment in Ontario.

Premier McGuinty is expected to make an announcement this morning in Thunder Bay.

Five years ago Premier McGuinty announced that talks were underway with Bombardier toward building hydrogen commuter trains. “The subway and GO Transit cars you build here are a big part of the future of this province – a greener, cleaner Ontario with better public transit,” he told workers at the Bombardier Transportation plant. Innovation – together with the skills and education of our people – is key to creating and attracting the high wage, high quality jobs we want for our people today, and in the future.”

Accompanied by Liberal candidates Bill Mauro (Thunder Bay-Atikokan) and Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay-Superior North), McGuinty announced that there have been discussions with Bombardier to help create an Ontario-developed and built hydrogen-powered commuter train.

“The hydrogen commuter train is exactly the type of initiative envisioned when the Ontario Liberal government created the new $650 million Next
Generation Jobs Fund”, McGuinty said. Ontario Liberals want to expand the Fund by a further $500 million after the October 10th election.

“Ontario Liberals think Ontarians can – and should – lead the development of hydrogen alternatives for the world,” McGuinty said.

Ever since that announcement during the 2007 provincial election campaign, the world has left Ontario far behind in the development of hydrogen powered rail. The Premier has left his Thunder Bay announcement on hydrogen behind him too.

On the Far North Act, the Premier promised Nishnawbe-Aski Grand Chief Stan Beardy that the legislation would not pass unless NAN were in support of it. That legislation passed, without that support. Grand Chief Stan Beardy stated, “It is obvious that his words mean very little and his promises even less.”

Today’s announcement could be on the Ring of Fire, or it could be on something at Bombardier. The real question people in Northwestern Ontario should be asking Premier McGuinty is a simple one – ‘Why should we believe you this time?’

Certainly for supporters of the Premier and the Ontario Liberal Party it is easier to forgive the Premier for his failings on the North. His words are often so eloquent and soothing that many fail to realise it is in the delivery of promises not in the issuing of promises that greatness is seen.

The Premier wrote Prime Minister Harper on May 8th on the Ring of Fire stating, “The Ring of Fire, located 540 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, is one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in Canada in almost a century”.

On that statement likely will lie the political legacy of this Premier and of our two Thunder Bay MPPs, Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle. Right now, all our region can do is hope they all work hard to get it right.

James Murray

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