John said stuff. David retortsFriday, August 30, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP
NDP MPP Vanthof misleads northerners on MNR transformation
Conveniently forgets his NDP government hacked $107 million from MNR
SAULT STE. MARIE - In a recent media release, NDP MPP John Vanthof, of Timiskaming-Cochrane, misleadingly claimed that MNR’s internal reorganization will hurt Northern Ontario by downsizing staff and removing them from Northern communities.
In fact, this internal organization will help create the financial stability to enable MNR to continue delivering quality services to Ontarians while focusing on the Ministry’s core mandate of protecting our province’s natural resources said David Orazietti, MPP.
“Vanthof is mistaken,” said Orazietti. “Once our reorganization is complete by April of next year, the net impact of our changes will be a gain of 36 positions across Northwest Ontario and 68 positions across the Northeast.”
The new Liberal government recognizes the importance of this ministry to Northern Ontario and as a result, during the 2013 budget permanently returned $40 million to the Ministry of Natural Resources base funding, allowing the ministry to retain staff and offices across the province.
Contrary to MPP Vanthof's statements, MNR's transformation plan is designed to ensure that MNR remains current.
The Province has streamlined and modernized a number of approvals and permitting processes by bringing them online to make it easier and more efficient for all residents to get a permit or apply for a licence.
By reorganizing how MNR operates, the Ministry is orienting itself to use a regional model of resource management which will allow the Ministry to effectively manage Ontario’s rich resources in a more efficient way.
In contrast, during the 1990-1995 NDP government, more than $107 million was hacked from MNR’s budget between 1993-1995, and 23 projects and offices across the province were closed between 1991 and 1994.
MPP Vanthof also made another misleading claim in the release stating that the Liberal government’s decision to scale back on trapping and relocating problem bears is a result of a downward turn in wildlife management.
A decision was made based on research that has shown that trapping and relocating of problem bears is not an effective tool in managing this issue.
As a result, the Ministry is currently in the process of reviewing more effective options.
“Northern Ontario is an integral part of Ontario’s economy and as a Northern minister in the Wynne Liberal government, there is no question that I want to ensure that our Northern communities remain on track towards prosperity and growth,” said Orazietti. “The reorganization taking place within MNR will help to ensure quality public services are maintained and stands in stark contrast to the NDP record in this ministry."
Since February 2013, MNR has invested:
- $47 million in capital upgrades to three key fire centres
- $18.5 million into the reconstruction of the Normandale Fish Culture Station, one of nine in the province
- $8.5 million to build a one-of-a-kind flight training centre in Sault Ste. Marie for CL-415 heavy water bombers
- $1.16 million to support the on-going work at the Invasive Species Research Centre in Sault Ste. Marie
MNR cuts hurt Northern Ontario, say Dippers