Editorials, Letters & Political Commentary

Missing the mark on the North’s passenger rail plan

The Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Northland have finally unveiled an Initial Business Case for passenger rail in Northeastern Ontario … and it’s about time the public was provided with an update.   It only took a mere three years into the current government’s term (and a freedom of information request), but Northerners now have a slightly better understanding of ...

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What is the government hiding in its passenger rail plan for the North?

Secretive … Aloof … Lacking Transparency …   These are just some of the terms one might use to describe the provincial government’s handling of restoring passenger rail services in north-eastern Ontario.   Over the span of a thousand days, various politicians, ministries, and agencies of the Crown have provided the public with a series of Coles Notes updates related ...

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Doug Ford always opposed any kind of paid sick time

Premier Doug Ford was always opposed any program that offers any help to workers to stay home when they are sick. One of Doug Ford’s first actions as premier was to take away Ontario’s two measly paid sick days. When a limited federal program was introduced to provide small supports to some workers who do not have paid sick days, ...

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Le budget envoie des signaux contradictoires: Hughes

Alors que les craintes de pandémie s’intensifient au milieu de la plus grande vague jamais enregistrée, le budget de lundi offre une gamme de mesures mitigées et a souligne la réticence du gouvernement à demander aux plus riches du Canada de contribuer un peu plus à leur pays, selon la députée d’Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, Carol Hughes. C’est l’une des principales conclusions du ...

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Budget sends mixed signals: Hughes

With pandemic concerns growing amidst the strongest wave yet, Monday’s budget offered a mixed bag of measures and highlighted the government’s reticence to ask Canada’s wealthiest  to contribute a little more to their country according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes. That was one of the biggest take-aways from the budget that Hughes is describing as more of an election document ...

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NDP Environment critic demands Ford government block the sale of Ontario’s water rights to American private equity investors

NDP Environment critic Sandy Shaw is demanding the Ford government block Nestlé from handing Ontario’s water rights to an American private equity firm, One Rock Capital Partners, which is planning to buy Nestlé’s North American water-bottling operations. The province’s moratorium on new or expanded permits for water taking for bottling is due to expire on April 1. On Monday, United ...

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NDP wants Ford government to pause OSAP repayments during the pandemic

Official Opposition NDP critic for Colleges and Universities, Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) has released a statement in response to a government announcement regarding Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for micro-credential programs: “Students don’t just need permission to borrow more money — they need a break on student loan repayments. COVID has taken away their summer jobs, and delayed their ...

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Eye of the Beholder

In politics, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Right? Obviously, there is a wide range of political perspectives that are aimed to achieve similar goals. The path to achieving those goals is often far more controversial than the actual goals themselves. The People of Ontario vote every four years to elect the governing party that they collectively believe ...

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A tale of two transit systems

  The Ministry of Transportation has finally unveiled the results of its northeastern Ontario rail corridor survey. Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of respondents indicate they would use a future rail service if provided with an option to depart once a day with costs equivalent to a intercommunity bus.   This concept shouldn’t be so foreign to politicians and bureaucrats working in North ...

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NDP make commitment to help small businesses struggling during pandemic

Small businesses hit hard by the pandemic have an ally in NDP Leader, Jagmeet Singh who is revealing his party’s plan to help these businesses survive as cornerstones in our communities. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are ready to go to great lengths for big corporations, but since the beginning of the pandemic, they’ve done the bare minimum for the small businesses ...

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Letter – Northern Autism Families Concerned 2 Year Wait for Core Services Results in Pilot Program

Dear Brenda It has been 2 years since the Ford government destroyed the Ontario Autism Program without a plan in place. During this time therapeutic capacity has been decimated and over 42 thousand families have been forced to wait, many in crisis, watching their children lose precious developmental time. While Northern Autism Families welcomes the recent return to open communication ...

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Railroaded – Strange Bedfellows

Vic Fedeli has dug himself into a pit with endless promises to restore Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) passenger service “before the next election.”  He’s now appealing for help from Liberal Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota.  Politics, passenger trains, and ill-advised promises make strange bedfellows.   The good news is MP Anthony Rota has offered to assist the ...

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Letter – Spencer’s Amazing Ice Rink

Dear Brenda, Today I went skiing. Yesterday I skated on Spencer’s amazing ice rink on Wawa Lake. The day before I snowshoed behind the hospital. And all of the fun and beauty of nature I experienced was due to Wawa volunteers. So I would like to send a virtual hug and/or a pat on the back to you who have ...

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Connecting the North : an exercise of consistently getting it wrong

The Ministry of Transportation will be publishing sometime soon the results of a passenger rail survey it conducted in the region. The government claims this is an integral part of the process of keeping people safe, providing reliable transportation options and connecting communities in the North. Politicians of all stripes have long talked a good game about improving public transit ...

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