Northern Ontario Experts Agree: Open Ontario Plan for Jobs and Growth the
Right Approach

QUEEN'S PARK, March 26 /CNW/ - Experts from all sectors and all political stripes agree that Northern Ontario communities and families will benefit significantly from the Open Ontario Plan. Open Ontario is a plan to create jobs and protect public services, while responsibly eliminating the deficit caused by the global recession.

Chris Hodgson, President, Ontario Mining Association: The budget clearly recognizes the contributions mining makes to Ontario's society and the role the industry can play in helping with its economic recovery. The budget is forward looking and helps protect existing jobs and investment while creating new opportunities related to the Ring of Fire area in the Far North, which holds potentially large deposits of chromite, nickel, copper and platinum.

Anne Krassilowsky, Mayor, City of Dryden: To have an industrial rate for large industry that would help retain the pulp and paper companies. That would retain and attract, really, new manufacturers and new investment in north-western Ontario. So we're happy about this.

Glenn Nolan, Vice-President of Aboriginal Affairs, Noront Resources: If you look at the overall project and the Ring of Fire, our products as well as others, this is the intentionally multigenerational. The idea is to get some people in right away, encourage them to share their success by being mentors for the community members, so that they will inspire younger people to move into the workforce.

Tony Martin, Member of Parliament, Sault Ste. Marie: It's good news. That's what we were looking for in the budget and now Huron Central can move forward and this will help our industries and communities.

Lynn Peterson, Mayor, City of Thunder Bay: This is not only about energy rates for pulp and paper, but it opens it up in terms of possibilities for other industry. And that means for me that there are more current industries that could benefit from it in northern Ontario; but it should be an incentive to large industrial energy users to look at Northern Ontario as the place to set up shop.

Tom Laughren, Mayor, City of Timmins: We have to give credit where it's due. The Premier and his Ministers appear to have listened to what we had to say.

Ron Common, President, Sault College: This is the most I've seen (for colleges and universities) in a budget in a number of years. Sault College is one of the fastest growing colleges and this will help address our anticipated growth for the coming year.

Richard Fink, General Manager, Cliff's Natural Resources: This will bring infrastructure, reduce the cost of living and will bring businesses to develop...There will be a sustainable community and enterprises in the area that will benefit the companies and First Nations in Ontario.

Larry Innes, Executive Director of Canadian Boreal Institute: This is great news. We commend the Government for recognizing the need to invest in First Nations capacity, enabling communities to prepare and plan for economic prosperity and to take lead roles in environmental stewardship.

John Rowswell, Mayor, City of Sault Ste. Marie: This is absolutely great for Essar Steel and I'm hoping it will make a difference for St. Mary's Paper.

SOURCE Liberal Caucus Service Bureau

For further information: For further information: Andrew Teliszewsky, ateliszewsky@liberal.ola.org, (416) 325-3670


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