THUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay is reporting success from the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) meetings in Ottawa. The Delegation included Councillors Joe Virdiramo, Acting Mayor & Chair – Intergovernmental Liaison Committee, Brian McKinnon, Vice-Chair Intergovernmental Liaison Committee, and Ken Boshcoff, along with Tim Commisso, City Manager. As well Laury Alexander, Mayor Hobbs Policy attended.
[sws_pullquote_left]“We now all know the future of Ontario is with the North” – Message from Provincial Government [/sws_pullquote_left] Delegation members report they are very encouraged by the prospects as a result of their meetings with Provincial Ministers at the 2013 Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) Conference held in Ottawa August 18-20.
The Delegation brought Thunder Bay’s priority topics to bring to the attention of Provincial Ministers, including:
- Phase Three of the proposed Thunder Bay Event Centre
- Implementation of the Advantage Northwest Mining Readiness Strategy
- Development of the Golf Links-Junot Corridor, and
- The future of the Thunder Bay Generating Station.
Thunder Bay had positive face-time and productive dialogue with the 10 Ministries including:
- Aboriginal Affairs
- Economic Development Trade & Employment
- Infrastructure & Transportation
- Municipal Affairs & Housing
- Northern Development & Mines
- Health & Long-Term Care, and
- Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak
Thunder Bay received consistent messages from the Ministries in regards to its priority initiatives including:
Proposed Thunder Bay Event Centre – The Province is ready to get into the game supporting participation and funding support for preliminary feasibility and facility development. Ministry of Northern Development & Mines Minister Michael Gravelle and his staff will work with City Council as to the funding opportunities.
Thunder Bay Generating Station – The plan for the Generating Station is still under review with options as to the fit with the future energy needs of Thunder Bay. The Minister asked Thunder Bay to respond to the most recent report titled “North of Dryden” with a three-week deadline to comment. An answer is expected within three weeks following.
Mining Readiness – The Province gets it! Thunder Bay is the natural urban catchment area for mining which is Ontario’s second largest gross domestic product contribution.
“The mining activity surrounding Thunder Bay is the most exciting time for Ontario in over a century,” said Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister Economic Development, Trade and Employment. “As a result of the Thunder Bay presentation, my Ministry’s level of involvement will focus on finding ways to work stronger with the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines to assist in the challenges and potentials. The Mining Readiness Strategy developed by the City of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation sets the stage for that to happen.”
Health Care – Minister of Health encourages partnerships with the City of Thunder Bay on the Housing First Strategy and the Poverty Reduction Strategy and other health related correlations.
Thunder Bay also participated in Ministerial meetings with MARCO/LUMCO Mayors as well as NOLUM and NOMA. “Overall the team did very well and Thunder Bay was seen by all Ministers as definitely having its act together,” said Councillor Joe Virdiramo. “The message we got from the Province was ‘We now all know the future of Ontario is with the North’.”
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.