Sault Ste. Marie is a community where youth and families struggle to find fulfilling jobs.
Population and income statistics can be marched out to prove the point but according to Ross Romano, “We don’t need a list of statistics to prove what everyone here already knows. Children and families have been leaving this city for more than 30 years.”
On a recent tour of the city, Ross proves the point, “neighbourhood schools are being demolished. Recreation facilities are starved for investment. Our once vibrant downtown core is struggling to survive.”
Liberals and the NDP have represented this city at Queen’s Park for more than 31 years but employment and youth out-migration problems have only become worse.
Romano asks, “From the boom times of the 1980s, NDP and Liberal MPPs have not been able to stop the erosion of jobs and prosperity in the city. It is time for meaningful change, for fresh ideas and new plan of attack:
1. With the support of Patrick Brown, I will work to ensure that the Ring of Fire project becomes a reality and I will fight to have the Noront Mineral Processing plant built in SSM. This will create a resurgence of good paying industrial jobs that people in the Sault are capable and qualified to fill;
2. I will call for a complete revamp of grants from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). Despite giving out $1B dollars over the last ten years, the NOHFC has not delivered job growth or population growth to the city. We need a two-pronged approach.
i. I will fight for funds in NOHFC to be directed to support two new major industrial employers. One in the steel sector and one in natural resources;
ii. I will fight for NOHFC funds to support a major multinational employer in the hi-tech sector. We need to kick start this economy.
3. The provincial policy on the North needs to include very focused investments in recreation and wellness facilities. I want to leverage the community data bank created by your Innovation Centre to get modern and relevant community recreation hubs in neighbourhoods where they are needed most. Whether you live in Ward 6 or Ward 1, or anywhere in between you should not have to use a dangerous and outdated, 45 year old arena. These investments are needed not only to improve opportunities for our kids but to help our city attract newcomers and investment.
Ross Romano is convinced, “The last 31 years with the NDP and Liberals have not brought solutions for Sault Ste. Marie families. It’s time for a representative who can drive innovative solutions and change.”
Photo Credit: Monica Stefanick Photo Caption: Ross Romano visits site of former Sir James Dunn School, now reduced to rubble due to declining enrolment.