REGIONAL DECISION MAKING POWERS NEEDED TO GROW ECONOMY
For immediate release: Thursday, December 6, 2012
THUNDER BAY – The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) is asking for more regional authority to enhance economic development in Northern Ontario.
A resolution of the NOMA Board states: “THAT NOMA express its support for increased regional decision making for Northern Ontario on issues currently under Provincial jurisdiction including natural resources, energy, infrastructure and land use planning; and, FURTHER THAT NOMA call on the leaders and candidates for leadership of the three elected Provincial political parties to outline their support or non-support of providing increased regional decision making powers to Northern Ontario; and FURTHER THAT the Northern Policy Institute undertake to develop a proposal that outlines options and processes that would enable increased regional decision making in Northern Ontario.”
NOMA President Ron Nelson says, “We’ve seen over and over that decisions made in Queen’s Park just don’t work for Northwestern Ontario and often have a negative impact on the regional economy. From the Endangered Species Act that reduces wood fibre and adds unnecessary challenges to our forest industry, to the lack of energy transmission lines and generation that result in mines running on diesel, to the frustrations and delays in planning and approvals that drive potential business to other parts of the world rather than investing in our communities – the current system does not work for us.”
Executive Vice President David Canfield agrees, “We need to be able to make decisions here in the Northwest that will drive economic development and allow us to take full advantage of the incredible potential of our natural resources. Queen’s Park cannot and does not understand, and except for about a dozen MPPs does not care, what we need to do to create jobs and opportunities for our citizens.”
NOMA will be working with all provincial parties including the Liberal leadership candidates and local party candidates of all stripes to bring this issue to the forefront over the coming months in advance of a possible 2013 election.
NOMA represents the interests of 37 municipalities from Kenora and Rainy River in the west to Hornepayne and Wawa in the east. It provides leadership in advocating regional interests to all orders of government and other organizations.