Today, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown and Ontario PC Northern MPPs Vic Fedeli (Nipissing) and Ross Romano (Sault Ste. Marie) wrote to MPP Lou Rinaldi and invited him to visit beautiful, opportunity-filled Northern Ontario.
Lou Rinaldi has been coming under fire at Queen’s Park for referring to Northern Ontario as “No Man’s Land.” He has since refused to apologize, and has challenged PC MPPs to “take it outside” for bringing it up during Question Period.
“While I’m disappointed that MPP Rinaldi has neglected to apologize for his hurtful comments referring to Northern Ontario as ‘No Man’s Land,’ it’s time we turn this negative story into a positive,” wrote Brown in his letter to Premier Wynne and MPP Rinaldi. “That’s why, on behalf of Northern Ontario PC MPPs, I’m taking this opportunity to personally invite MPP Rinaldi to come visit Northern Ontario and see everything it has to offer. I suspect that after witnessing Northern hospitality firsthand, your views on the region will change for the better.”
“The North, especially my riding of Nipissing, has so much to offer,” added Fedeli in a separate letter. “Nipissing truly has a limitless potential in many fields, from tourism to resource development and well beyond.”
“That’s why, on behalf of my constituents and with the permission of the Premier, I’m taking this opportunity to personally invite MPP Rinaldi to come visit Nipissing to paddle the Lavase River with me.”
“We are a city filled with wonderful tourist attractions that serve to promote our history as one of the oldest cities in the country,” added Romano who detailed some of Sault Ste. Marie’s history in his invitation.
“As you can see, my home of Sault Ste. Marie has so much to offer to the rest of Ontario and the world. That is why, on behalf of my constituents and with the permission of the Premier, I would like to take this opportunity to invite MPP Rinaldi to join me in my constituency,” Romano concluded. “I suspect that after this experience, MPP Rinaldi will have a greater appreciation of this region than before.”
Full text of Ross Romano’s letter below:
September 26th 2017
Dear Premier Wynne and MPP Rinaldi,
My home of Sault Ste. Marie has struggled through its fair share of economic challenges, yet we have always found ways to battle through some geographical hurdles and the cyclical nature of our steel industry. This industry continues to be our largest source of employment and primary economic driver.
We are a city filled with wonderful tourist attractions that serve to promote our history as one of the oldest cities in the country; and a natural beauty filled with breathtaking views and landscapes once made famous by the Group of Seven.
Following the brutality, sadness, violence, devastation and tragedy of the First World War, Lawrence Harris and Dr. MacCallum (long-time Group of Seven supporter) took the CPR train to Sault Ste. Marie. They then hopped aboard the Algoma Central Railway (ACR) and traveled north into the Algoma region. The works of the Group of Seven in the Algoma region are still alive. Both continue to be a source of inspiration for artists, and are a major part of Canadian art history as well as our national pride. The Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie often boasts works influenced by the Group of Seven and these landscapes can all be enjoyed today on a tour of the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, which continues to be one of the largest drawing tourist attractions in the Province. Another of our many tourist attractions is the historical Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, located in our hangar on the St. Mary’s River. The hanger was first established by the Ontario Provincial Air Service in 1924 with pilots returning home from the war and became the birthplace of what is now the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Originally, it was created as an air service used to map areas in Canada and to survey forested locations. This was very significant because, it is here that the idea to fight a fire using a bushplane was created.
We are a city that has produced some of the most influential and impactful people in Canadian culture and identity. Individuals such as Roberta Bondar, the first woman to ever fly in space,
Canada’s Governor General, David Johnston who moved to Sault Ste. Marie his early years and attended Sault Collegiate Institute.
We also boast a long list of tremendous athletes including but not limited to current hockey hall of famers and legends of Canadian sports history Phil and Tony Esposito. In fact, Wayne Gretzky’s number 99 was even born in the Sault while he was a member of the Soo Greyhounds OHL hockey team. The Greyhounds went on many years later to become the 1993 Memorial Cup Champions lead by their coach, and an influential member of our community in his own right, Ted Nolan, born in Garden River First nation, who went on to coach a number of seasons in the NHL.
The list of our great athletes goes on, and includes the reigning Canadian curling gold medalists Brad Jacobs, Ryan and E.J. Harnden, Canadian Paralympic gold medalist in the Alpine Giant Slalom, Mac Marcoux, and NHL head coach Paul Maurice, among many others. Though our tradition of artistic and sporting excellence runs deep in Sault Ste. Marie, our citizens have played a major role shaping Canada in other ways as well. The seventh Premier of Ontario, Sir William Howard Hearst, began his career in Sault Ste. Marie, and Saultites Arthur Wishart and John Rhodes both served as cabinet ministers for Premiers John Robarts and Bill Davis respectively, to name but a few.
Other prominent community members include; Lewis Hong Chow, a pioneer of jet aircraft and artificial heart technology, Stephan Bourgond, who went from the Sault’s Kiana School of Dance Arts to principle dancer with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Shannon Wilson, founder and original designer for Lululemon, and Laura Dawson, Director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
As you can see, my home of Sault Ste. Marie has so much to offer to the rest of Ontario and the world. That is why, on behalf of my constituents and with the permission of the Premier, I would like to take this opportunity to invite MPP Rinaldi to join me in my constituency. Together, we will celebrate our natural beauty, rich history, and see firsthand the amazing contributions Sault Ste. Marie has made and continues to make to the Province of Ontario and hopefully put this rather unsettling experience behind us and use this opportunity to learn more about the north.
I suspect that after this experience, MPP Rinaldi will have a greater appreciation of this region than before. I look forward to your positive response and an opportunity to move forward together to serve our great Province.
MPP For Sault Ste. Marie