From Queen’s Park – Looking back while moving forward

Sarah Campbell MPP
Sarah Campbell MPP

Sarah Campbell-MPP

KENORA – October 6, 2012 marks one year since I was elected to be your Member of Provincial Parliament. I would like to once again thank you for the faith you have put in me and for the kind words of encouragement I have received over the past twelve months.

There’s no doubt that there have been frustrating times. People across the north feel that they are being ignored by the McGuinty Government. This frustration is merited. Leadership is putting partisan interests aside and governing for the benefit of all of Ontario. Dalton McGuinty has not done this.

That said, we are not powerless in our struggle. The minority government has provided us with a number of opportunities to work together and make positive changes. By working together we were able to prevent healthcare closures in Rainy River and Ear Falls. By standing firm we were able to negotiate a $20 million fund to improve northern healthcare. By cooperating with other parties I was able to secure a new call centre in the north when the Ontario One Call bill passed.

I believe we have two choices. We can dwell on the negative, or we can focus on the positive and push for changes that will help us move forward.

In the north we have been hit hard by a downturn in the forest industry long before the global recession took hold, but there are opportunities on our doorstep.

Many accounts suggest that the forest industry is set to rebound. While it may not be the economic contributor it once was, opportunities are beginning to pop up around our region and by pushing for the right decisions, we can maximize the potential that goes along with these opportunities.

The same can be said for mining. The area known as the Ring of Fire possesses billions of dollars of economic potential that can help bring new prosperity to our region. This is in addition to the opportunities that appear on the horizon in many communities across Northwestern Ontario. The key to unleashing this potential is making the right decisions.

It’s about ensuring that the Ring of Fire is serviced by an East-West access corridor that will link many of our communities to economic benefits. It’s about ensuring that the resources that are extracted in our region are also processed in our region.

In the coming weeks I will be bringing forward my first Private Members’ Bill as a Member of Provincial Parliament. The goal of this bill will be to unlock some of this potential and to open up opportunities for communities across the north.

Before it is debated at the end of November, I will bring the draft bill forward for your input and suggestions. As I have said many times, we can make a difference as long as we work together.

Sarah Campbell MPP

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Sarah Campbell is a Canadian politician, who was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the 2011 election. She represents the electoral district of Kenora—Rainy River as a member of the Ontario New Democratic Party caucus