Support for the Protecting What Matter’s Most, the Ontario PC’s first budget since being elected last year, has continued to build two weeks after it was introduced by Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli. In Sault Ste. Marie, MPP Ross Romano has been busy on the phone and taking meetings with leaders from across Northern Ontario discussing how Budget 2019 will make a positive impact across the North.
“The support has been incredible,” said Romano from his constituency office on Thursday. “Our government is making significant investments into the areas that matter most – like our healthcare and education system – and the feeling across Northern Ontario is that these changes are going to do a lot of good within each of our communities.”
Part of the Budget 2019 includes a $28.5 billion investment into subway expansion within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. During an exchange in Question Period last week, Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek discussed the possibility of economic benefits coming to Northern Ontario through a successful bid for the project.
“When I first heard that our government will be making such a historic investment in southern Ontario, my first thought was that they are going to need a lot of steel to get the project done,” continued Romano. “I want to see every possible contract, dollar, and job created through this project come to the Sault. I won’t stop until we get that done.”
“Algoma University is currently implementing an aggressive 5-year growth strategy focused on sustainability, program development and enrolment growth. The strategy aims to retain and attract greater numbers of domestic and Indigenous students, especially those who reside in Ontario, as well as international students and college graduates. The University’s strategic direction is well aligned with government priorities and will increase the University’s already significant impact on the communities it serves in supporting job growth and economic development.”, Asima Vezina President and Vice- Chancellor Algoma University
“Sault College has a long history of training apprentices in Northern Ontario in a variety of trades, so the government commitment to apprentice training in the new budget is appreciated. The College is particularly pleased about the creation of the new internship program called the Northern Ontario Skilled Labour funding stream, the establishment of programs to encourage people to enter the skilled trades and the creation of a one-window portal that will make entry into an apprenticeship as easy as applying to a College or University. There is a growing shortage of skilled workers and the College is committed to working with government and employers to address this issue.”, Dr. Ron Common, President Sault College
“We are pleased with the provincial budget’s overall direction for postsecondary education, in particular mechanisms that support differentiation, the promotion of skilled trades and applied research, streamlining the apprenticeship process, and enhancing internship opportunities and skills upgrading. More so, the budget also addresses the unique challenges facing colleges in the north. We look forward to working with the government of Ontario to ensure our students are well-prepared to meet the needs of the ever-changing labour market, and to ensuring that our province is the model for economic growth and prosperity.”, Bill Best, President Cambrian College
“I want to thank the Government of Ontario for their leadership and for making red tape reduction a priority. I also want to thank MPP Romano and the province and for listening to business owners. With the recent subway announcement in the GTHA, and given we are a steel town, this is a great opportunity to bring more jobs to Sault Ste. Marie. We at SIS are hiring, and always looking for more people! I look forward to all of the great opportunities this government’s announcement and Budget 2019 will create for Sault Ste. Marie.”, Tony Porco, Owner & President SIS
“NORCAT is very happy with 2019 Ontario Budget- specifically the continued commitment to the NOHFC and the value it brings to drive economic and social prosperity for Northern Ontario. The creation of the new Northern Ontario Internship Program, which aims to remove restrictive eligibility requirements, is a welcomed reform that addresses an important need in the North. In addition, we are excited by the creation of the Mining Working Group, which will focus on streamlining processes and attracting major new investments for an industry that is critical, not only to Northern Ontario, but also our country’s economic future. NORCAT looks forward to opportunities for collaboration with the Mining Working Group.”, Don Duval, CEO NORCAT
“I’m encouraged by the Government of Ontario’s commitment to invest in infrastructure. Subway lines and subway cars mean Canadian steel and Canadian jobs. At a time when the Canadian steel industry is under attack we would welcome the chance to supply the steel plate for these projects.”, Mike McQuade, President Algoma Steel
“Anytime a government chooses to make investments in health and seniors they have my full support. I’m glad to see that this budget is making low income seniors a priority. I applaud the efforts of Mr. Romano and his team.”, Sonny Spina, Federal Candidate in Sault Ste. Marie the Conservative Party of Canada
“The 2019 Ontario Budget earmarks this year $1.3 billion or 2.1% more for Health and Long-Term Care. Ending hallway medicine, enhancing mental health and addictions care and creating more long-term care beds are the right health priorities and we need to remain focused on them. The 2019 Ontario Budget includes a Recovery Plan showing program spending by sector for each of the next five years. This new practice will help health sector leaders plan for the future.”, Dominic Giroux President and CEO Health Sciences North
Business and Innovation
“We all want to have an Ontario that is more prosperous, for more Ontarians. The road to Ontario’s prosperity starts with creating an environment for small businesses to operate under that creates more opportunities, for more Ontarians. Entrepreneurs are the ones that drive the economy, that start and grow businesses that hire Ontarians and build projects. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is pleased that Ontario’s budget helps businesses build that road back to prosperity.”, Don Mitchell, Acting President Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
“I would like to thank the Ontario Government and especially Minister Fedeli for all of the hard work that went into setting the financial course for our province through the next year. As a Mayor from the North, I would like to acknowledge the following areas that stood out as a great benefit to Sudbury and our region: protecting and enhancing affordable housing and long-term care, creating the Mining Working Group which is important to attracting investment in Greater Sudbury and in reducing red tape for our mining operations and businesses, investments in broadband and wireless services benefiting all of Northern Ontario, and supporting the Film and Television industry. I’m also reassured that the Ring of Fire is included in this budget.”, Brian Bigger, Mayor of Sudbury
“As a local small business owner, I think what the Ford government is doing is great. We need to build business and make a more competitive environment so that more people invest. On a personal level, we at Lock City Dairies are hiring and the additional government investments in training programs will make it easier to find people to help our business grow. I am very happy with the direction taken in this years 2019 provincial budget.”, Vic Fremlin, President- Lock City Dairies
“Reforming post secondary economic performance output via the establishment of the Expert Panel on Post Secondary Intellectual Property is a significant admission that Ontario has not been able to convert enough of its incredible research power into high value jobs. Performing on this item alone will create many thousands of well-paid jobs in the mid-term and build globally competitive companies across Ontario. The budget challenge on health care and education are the biggest opportunities. The government has accepted that the system as is does not work well enough to serve the interests of Ontario’s citizens and has issued an open-minded challenge to look to innovation to solve efficiency problems. At SSMIC we have ideas and we will work hard to be part of the solution and bring opportunities back here to the Sault to create jobs here.”, Peter Bruijns, Executive Director Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
“I am very encouraged by the 2019 provincial budget. The government has taken a very balanced approach to the need to reign in the deficit and taking control of spending while encouraging investment and making Ontario open for business.”, Terry Rainone, Director Business Development Pioneer Construction Inc.
“I am 100% in support of the 2019 Provincial budget. We can’t keep thinking that we are going to borrow our way into wealth. We have to get our house in order and the government’s approach to achieve balance in 5 years is a sustainable way to help us achieve fiscal responsibility and get our economy moving forward. This is definitely the right direction for our province.”, Sam Biasucci President Sal-Dan Developments Ltd
Debate on Budget 2019 is set to resume next week when the Ontario Legislature returns on Monday.