The Hudak PC’s recently announced that they plan to eliminate either the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) or the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM), which would seriously undermine important economic development programs, as well as result in the loss of countless local public service jobs that support Sault Ste. Marie residents.
“The recent announcement by the provincial PC’s amounts to another attack on northern jobs and programs that support residents in our city,” said David Orazietti, Liberal candidate “It is also shocking that the leader of the NDP is refusing to say that both the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines will be permanently maintained.”
During the eight years the provincial PC’s were in power (1995 – 2003), the Conservatives failed to appoint a northerner as Minister of Northern Development and Mines. The NDP neglected northerners by cutting $60 million from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, NOHFC economic development program, shortchanging northern residents.
In contrast, the Liberals immediately appointed a northerner as Minister of Northern Development and Mines when they became government in 2003 and have increased the NOHFC program from $60 million to $100 million.
The Hudak PC’s also refuse to commit to asking the Federal government to contribute funding to support the Ring of Fire development, let alone match the Liberal government’s Budget commitment of $1 billion to develop required infrastructure for the important mining project.
Some examples of provincial programs and services that are delivered by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Northern Development and Mines include; the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), forestry sector incentive programs, management and conservation programs, hunting and fishing management, mining and prospecting programs and Ontario Parks.