I’ve lived my whole life in the Sault. I’ve seen the city change, sometimes for good and sometimes for worse. But we always keep moving on and we always remain hopeful for the future. That’s why I’ve chosen to raise my two children here. I want to stay close to my roots, in an ever-changing city that grows at the heart of the Great Lakes, surrounded by beautiful northern forests.
I want to see my city prosper and do well. I’m invested in it. I believe the ferrochrome plant is an opportunity to bring jobs to the Sault and therefore feel it would be irresponsible to object to the project before having seen the results of an environmental assessment. I can’t in good conscience support a project that will put us all at risk for any number of jobs. I’ve said this from the start of this process, sharing these thoughts before in my column.
It’s essential that every new project follows a thorough environmental assessment, to ensure high environmental and sustainability standards. That assessment must be done by an independent third party that will give us an honest idea of what this project will mean for our environment and our health.
In the 1990’s, local NDP MPP Bud Wildman brought us the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights. The Liberals pushed back on it and the Conservatives under Mike Harris even got rid of it. My point is that the NDP has always been serious about protecting our environment while helping the workers get a better deal. That hasn’t changed.
We need assurance that the plant will have the highest environmental standards and the best technology to be in place to ensure arduous monitoring. That means we also need a federal and provincial government that will step up to enforce better standards. Liberals and Conservatives have giving too much leeway to big polluters. The NDP will make sure standards are up to date and big polluters are not able to buy their way out of them.
You can count on me to work with our municipal and provincial representatives, as well as the plant owners, to include the community in the decision making process. I believe that the engagement and approbation of the local residents and First Nation communities is essential for this project to move forward. This needs to be a partnership with the plant owners and the community, so everyone is able to share their thoughts and concerns. It is paramount that the community gives its approval for the project to go forward and I expect Noront and all the other partners in this project to come out and hear peoples’ concerns before making any other commitment to anyone.
The health and safety of workers and people living around the plant, as well as our environment, cannot be compromised. My family and I live next to the steel plant and I understand the concerns that come with a development of that nature so close to our homes.
NDP candidate for Sault Ste. Marie
This media release has been edited at author’s request since its original posting as follows:
We mistakenly stated that “In the 1990’s, local NDP MPP Bud Wildman brought us the environmental assessment provincially. The Liberals pushed back on it and the Conservatives under Mike Harris even got rid of it.”
Some of that information was not accurate and we want to correct it to “In the 1990’s, local NDP MPP Bud Wildman brought us the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights.”