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Program cuts 'a slap in the face to Ontario’s youth': NDP

NEWS RELEASE GILLES BISSON, MPP TIMMINS-JAMES BAY ************************** NDP: Ontario Rangers get a lump of coal from Liberals TIMMINS – NDP Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson says the Liberal government’s decision to cancel the over
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NEWS RELEASE

GILLES BISSON, MPP
TIMMINS-JAMES BAY

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NDP: Ontario Rangers get a lump of coal from Liberals

TIMMINS – NDP Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson says the Liberal government’s decision to cancel the overnight Ontario Rangers program, as part of over $7 million in cuts to provincial parks, is a slap in the face to Ontario’s youth, and park users.

“While the Liberals are nickel-and-diming the North to death, they are handing out cushy bonuses to their executive friends in the public sector,” said Bisson. “The $21 million they spent on bonuses to managers could easily have saved our parks and Rangers three times over. Ontarians are sick of seeing Liberals pay out big bonuses to managers and executives, especially when valuable Northern programs and services are being eliminated.”

In December, about 4,700 senior Ontario bureaucrats received bonuses totalling $21.5 million or roughly $4,500 per manager.

Supporters and former Rangers are protesting the program cuts at Queen’s Park today.

“In the grand scheme of things, this program cost the province very little, and had huge benefits for everyone involved,” said Bisson. “For many program participants, this was a life-changing program, and parks benefited from additional workers and community involvement.”

The program began in 1944, and offered youth from across the province the chance to live and work in a provincial park for eight weeks.

The program is being replaced with a day program.

“These youth had an opportunity to become more independent, meet youth from across Ontario, and live and work in some of the most beautiful areas in the province,” explained Bisson. “The new day program simply can’t compare. It will be inaccessible to most urban youth, many of whom otherwise would not have the chance to spend time in our parks. Once again, Northerners are completely missing from the McGuinty Liberals’ radar.”

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