THUNDER BAY – It was politics central in Thunder Bay today. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was here, along with Ontario Leadership candidates, Glen Murray and Kathleen Wynne. In addition, the Premier, Dalton McGuinty is in the city for an event tonight.
Today, in a speech to Thunder Bay’s Chamber of Commerce, New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath said Ontario can achieve shared prosperity with hard work, a focus on results and respecting the unique challenges and opportunities of Ontario’s North.
“If our economy’s going to work families need to be looking to the future with confidence. Simplistic solutions, based on ideology instead of real world results will leave people falling further behind,” said Horwath. “Northerners and northern business have seen policies designed in Toronto imposed on northern communities to devastating effect. We can do better.”
Horwath noted that Ontario’s electricity policy has had a particularly devastating impact on the North and expressed concern that, once again, a decision about converting Thunder Bay’s power plants to natural gas was being made far from the community that would be affected, “Northerners are tired of suffering the consequences of unaccountable electricity decisions made far away by people who don’t seem to care about the North’s challenges. We’ve seen it once again this week as a power plant conversion promised over and over again is now in doubt at precisely the time that people in the Northwest are counting on that power most,” said Horwath. “Manitoba to our west and Quebec to our east are providing reliable electricity to their business and citizens at literally half the price that we’re being charged in Ontario – and they don’t spend over $200 million cancelling gas plants in the 905 and then claim they can’t afford investments in the northwest.”
The New Democrat Leader also outlined positive plans help struggling manufacturers with real incentives to invest in training and equipment, to get electricity prices under control, to ensure that Ontario’s natural resources are used to create value-added jobs and a “Job Creator Tax Credit” to provide tax incentives to companies that are ready to create jobs and put people to work,
“Northerners don’t have to settle for the boom and bust cycle” said Horwath. “Families have a right to earn a decent and dependable living from the resources of the North.”