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NDP calls on Liberals to halt Ontario Northland sell-off

Wednesday, December 11, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

JOHN VANTHOF, MPP
TAMISKAMING-COCHRANE

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NDP calls on Liberals to halt poorly planned ONTC sell-off 

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof says it’s time to halt the fire sale of the ONTC, after a special report by the Auditor General said costs for the sell-off could exceed $800 million.

“In 2012, the government tried to kill the ONTC without any consultation, any planning, any policy, and it claimed that it would save the taxpayers of Ontario $265 million. What it didn’t tell Ontarians was that the same budget this government allocated $325 million for divestment costs,” explained Vanthof during question period this morning.

"Yesterday, the Auditor General’s report outlined that if the divestment goes ahead, it could cost the taxpayers of Ontario over $800 million.”

The Auditor’s report says ineffective internal communication, unclear operational structure, and a lack of stakeholder consultation all contributed to the rising costs.

The report made clear that the planning and consultation carried out by the government was inadequate for such an unparalleled liquidation of major infrastructure.

“Let’s talk about this government’s approach to the ONTC: they announced the divestment, yet the Auditor General’s report showed they didn’t even bother to crunch the numbers for four months after,” said Vanthof. “You know who is left out in the cold? Northerners, seniors, the people who use the train, the customers, small business, and big business.”

Vanthof reiterated the NDP call to halt the poorly planned sell-off, and work with Northern communities and stakeholders to develop a sustainable long-term plan for the ONTC.

“Is the government still planning on spending $800 million dollars to deny essential services to Northern Ontario?” asked Vanthof. “Will this government, once and for all, admit that it was wrong and halt the divestment of the ONTC?”

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Right of Centre 12/12/2013 12:02:20 AM Report

Considering that both Ontario Northland and Via don't know the Sault exists, people here don't much care about the loss of service. The $800 mil is just more of the same Liberal waste.
jay 12/12/2013 5:43:39 AM Report

Maybe the Auditor General should look into the OLG's so called "modernization plan" and they would see that there were even more jobs and more provincial revenue about to be lost there aswell!!!

Way To Go ONTARIO!!!
scottstewy123 12/12/2013 3:04:37 PM Report

NDP Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof You and the NDP propped this Government many times in the house by voting with them. I wish the NDP would stop complaining about the liberals. As far as I am concerned the NDP are in cahoots with them
Dara 12/13/2013 8:33:30 AM Report

I think they were planning on using the money they saved for the new subway systems in Toronto.

Now they have to go back to a new gas tax
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