On June 15, the McGuinty government issued a press release as part of its Northern Prosperity Plan saying it would provide $11,000 to study the feasibility of sinking a ship off Thunder Bay to enhance diving tourism.
Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro praised the plan, saying, “Initiatives like this one help to promote job creation and expand this essential industry while providing new opportunities for northern youth.”
“The Northern Prosperity Plan,” the press release further stated “[will] strengthen the north and its communities, serve northerners better . . . and provide opportunities for all.”
June 15 also was the day the McGuinty government told Atikokan they’d officially turn their lights out on their generation station in 2007. It also was the day the McGuinty government gave the Lakehead District School Board the go-ahead to close five schools.
Just one day before, the McGuinty government decided to ignore the recommendations of the Forest Competitiveness Council by refusing an investment strategy for this vitally-important northern Industry.
So we lose our schools, we lose good forestry jobs, and a small community like Atikokan is told to pick up the pieces.
The new McGuinty prosperity plan for the north? Sinking ships. It seems fitting. It’s a metaphor for their actions of the last week.
The Paul Martin plan for the ailing northern economy and crisis in forestry? Silence.
The north is taken for granted—once again.
Fort Frances, Ont.
Editor’s note: John Rafferty is the NDP candidate for Thunder Bay-Rainy River in the next federal election.