QUEEN'S PARK, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton says the
McGuinty government's own records show that virtually no money has flowed to
forestry operations through the McGuinty Government's repeatedly-announced
funds for forestry aid.
"For four long years, Dalton McGuinty's Liberals have ignored the north.
Now that an election's on they think they can impress northern families with
empty campaign announcements - but northerners won't be fooled this time,"
Documents obtained from the Ministrry of Natural Resources by Ontario's
NDP show that as of the end of the last fiscal year, March 31, 2007:
- Out of the $150 million McGuinty promised for a "Forest Sector
Prosperity Fund" no money had been distributed.
- Out of the $350 million in loan guarantees McGuinty promised less
than 3 per cent (only $10 million) had been disbursed.
- Out of the $140 million McGuinty promised for a Northern Pulp and
Paper Electricity Transition Program less than 2 per cent (only
$2 million) had been disbursed.
The McGuinty government has been announcing some of these programs - like
the Prosperity Fund for over two years. Nearly a year ago, Ramsay said: "We
have had a very positive response from the forest industry to the Forest
Sector Prosperity Fund and the Loan Guarantee Program. We expect that 100 per
cent of the Prosperity Fund will be committed to investments like this by the
end of 2006." (Ministry of Natural Resources Press Release September 22,
"When Dalton McGuinty voted himself a $40,000 per year pay raise that
money flowed right away," Hampton said. "But, working families and communities
across the north were still waiting for 98 per cent of Dalton McGuinty's
promised relief for forestry years after he announced it."
Hampton is a strong voice for Northern jobs. He has put forward positive,
practical solutions to sustain Northern jobs including a Jobs Protection
Commissioner, an end to market-based hydro pricing to protect resource jobs in
the North, and the Due North program that would keep the North's resource
wealth in the North.
For further information:
For further information: Marion Nader, (416) 325-2601