Nuttall rebuttal

Dear editor,
Re: “Flaherty only supporter of north, says supporter” (Feb. 27, 2002)
I was surprised to read Craig Nuttall’s letter comparing the political records of Jim Flaherty and Ernie Eves in the race to become the next leader of the PC party and premier of Ontario.
Mr. Nuttall attacks Eves for not spending enough time in Northern Ontario listening to the concerns of northerners. But it was Eves, not Flaherty, who delivered program after program to the north, including doubling the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund from $30 million to $60 million per year.
Flaherty, on the other hand, has promised to demonstrate his commitment to the north by eliminating the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and merging it with Natural Resources.
How often does merging mean downsizing?
Every northerner knows that the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is vital for many northern communities. However, it seems that the importance of the ministry is not recognized by Flaherty.
And finally, when asked what portfolio he might receive in an Eves government, Flaherty laughed at the possibility of becoming “only” the minister of Northern Development and Mines.
I am offended by Flaherty’s comments and hope they are not indicative of his “commitment” to our region of the province.
As a former resident of the north, Ernie Eves is the only one who will keep our issues at the forefront of the agenda and form a third majority government after the next election.
Robert G. Stark
Mississauga, Ont.