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McGuinty, don't forget the 'legislated Growth Plan for Northern Ontario'

Friday, February 24, 2012   by: SooToday.com Staff
SooTiday.com received the following letter addressed to Premier Dalton McGuinty yesterday from President of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, Robert Reid, regarding the proposed closure of one of two OLG offices as recommended by Don Drummond in his report to the Provincial Government last week.

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February 23, 2012

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Re: Drummond Report – Impacts on businesses and communities

Dear Premier McGuinty:

The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce would like to commend your government for their leadership regarding the restoration of fiscal responsibility to the public sector of our economy.

There will be many difficult decisions to be made and we want to ensure that those decisions are made based on sound business practices.

However, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is deeply concerned with the particular recommendation made in the Don Drummond report referring to the closure of one of the offices for The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). 

Although the specific location for closure was not identified in the report, we want to ensure that the OLG head office remains in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce recognizes that major cuts have to be made in order for the province to avoid serious long-term debt issues.

We expect that all communities will have to “share the pain” in the cost cutting process.

However, cost cutting needs to be fair and equitable for all communities in the province.

We further suggest that if the povernment wants to demonstrate fiscal prudence it needs to use sound business cases to back-up those decisions.

We strongly urge your government to take into consideration the tremendous negative economic impacts of closing the Sault Ste. Marie head office for OLG not only for our community but for Northern Ontario. 

We recommend your government and OLG work together with business to find a balanced, creative and equitable solution without sacrificing one community for another.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind the government about their legislated Growth Plan for Northern Ontario and regardless of the overall plan resulting from the Drummond Report those Growth Plan commitments need to be kept.

This is a crucial time for Northern Ontario and the benefits from economic development far outweigh the short term costs.

We would be glad to articulate this position in more detail at your convenience and we expect this topic to be top of mind with the rest of the Northern Advisory Committee when we meet in early March.

As the recognized voice of business in Sault Ste. Marie, we are eager to work with your Government to find a balanced solution and look forward to the opportunity to contribute to that process as you move forward with your assessment of the Drummond Report.

Regards,

Robert W. Reid, P. Eng. MBA
2010-2011 President

RWR/sb

c.c. Rod Phillips, CEO and President OLG

c.c. David Orazietti, MPP Sault Ste. Marie

c.c. Dwight Duncan, MPP Minister of Finance

c.c. Rick Bartolucci, MPP, Minister for Northern Development  and Mines

c.c. Michael Gravelle, MPP, Minister of Natural Resources

c.c. Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

c.c. Mayor Debbie Amaroso, Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie

c.c.  Joe Fratesi, CAO, Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie

c.c. Greg Punch, President and Chairman of the Board – Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC)

c.c. Cal MacDonald ADM Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM)

c.c. Lisa Zanetti, Director – Growth Plan

c.c. Allan O’Dette, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

c.c. Media

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Earlier SooToday.com coverage of this story
 
McGuinty, don't forget the 'legislated Growth Plan for Northern Ontario'
EDC writes to McGuinty. Says Sault is the only OLG headquarters location
Loss of OLGC would be devastating to the Sault: Amaroso to McGuinty 
OPSEU reacts to Drummond report 
Time to level with people about Ontario's finances - Northern MPP
Close one OLG head office - recommendation to government

 

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