THUNDER BAY – Members of the City of Thunder Bay delegation state that they “are very encouraged by the prospects as a result of their meetings with Provincial Ministers at the 2012 Association of Municipalities Ontario AMO Conference held in Ottawa August 19- 22”.
The Mining Readiness Strategy and Integrated Economic Development Plan now has the attention of seven Provincial Ministry and Government Agencies through lobbing efforts of the City of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation. The delegation included Mayor Keith Hobbs, Councillor Joe Virdiramo, Chair of Intergovernmental Liaison Committee, Councillor Ken Boshcoff, Councillor Brian McKinnon and City Manager, Tim Commisso from the City of Thunder Bay while Ed Collins, Economic Development Officer, and Brian Ludwigsen, Community Consultation Officer, represented Fort William First Nation as part of the meetings in Ottawa.
• Seven Provincial Ministers have since appointed key designated senior staff members in positions ranging from Assistant Deputy Ministers to Area District Managers as a point of contact for input and support to the Mining Readiness Strategy and Integrated Economic Development Plan.
• The first round of engagement will take place on September 11, 2012 between project team members from the City of Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nation, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and Provincial appointees representing: Aboriginal Affairs, Economic Development & Innovation, Energy, Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Northern Development & Mines, and Transportation.
“It was my pleasure to meet with the Thunder Bay delegation at the AMO conference in Ottawa in my capacity as the Parliament Assistant to the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines,” said Bill Mauro, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Parliamentary Assistant and the MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan. “Our Ministry, through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, is pleased to provide funding to the City of Thunder Bay for this mining readiness strategy as we all continue to prepare for the growth to come.“
The Thunder Bay delegation also state that they had a productive dialogue with Health & Long Term Care Minister Deb Matthews to have the Minister of Health take a serious look at matched funding based upon RegenMed’s sustainability plan report. The report is also expected to be in the hands of the Minister by Sept. 11, 2012.
The conversion timeline for the Thunder Bay Power Generation Station and a needs analysis to look at the power supply infrastructure in Northwestern Ontario were discussed with Energy Minister Chris Bentley.
City of Thunder Bay officials had discussions with members of provincial government Opposition including MNR PC Critic Laurie Scott about open dialogue related to mining activity in the region.
The AMO Conference was held in Ottawa, allowing Mayor Keith Hobbs to attend a number of additional meetings including a meeting of Northern Mayors with FedNor Minister Tony Clement in the Minister’s Ottawa Parliament offices.
The Mayor also attended a joint meeting between Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) where he had an opportunity for a brief question and answer period with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Kathleen Wynne.
MARCO/LUMCO Mayors discussed long-term infrastructure plans and sustainable funding, emergency services and job creation.
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.