DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP
********************** Tories oppose bill protecting Northern representation
Conservatives vote against maintaining 11 Northern ridings
Sault Ste. Marie - On Tuesday December 13, in the Provincial legislature, John Tory and the Conservative caucus, including their Northern Affairs Critic, voted against Bill 214 thus opposing the McGuinty plan to stand up for the North and protect the current 11 ridings.
"We are standing up for Northern Ontario and ensuring that the people of the north have greater access to effective representation at Queen’s Park by maintaining the existing riding boundaries," said MPP David Orazietti. "We have followed through on our commitment by implementing Bill 214, but are not surprised by the Conservative position to cut northern ridings given their disastrous record in Northern Ontario."
The McGuinty Government's legislation accomplishes three important things: protects northern representation, sets fixed dates for future elections, and implements real time disclosure.
The Tory attempt to undermine northern representation is just one of many in a long list of attacks on Northern Ontario:
· upon taking office the Tories cut Northern highway spending by 17.2% - that's $20 million
· the Harris-Eves government moved thousands of government jobs from Northern communities to Southern Ontario and did little to help create new ones
· the Harris-Eves government cut Northern health care: they closed hospitals, fired nurses and did little to locate more doctors in the North
· they closed 25 of the North's schools
· Harris-Eves used the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund as a slush fund to make up for basic infrastructure spending instead of using it for economic stimulation as originally designated
"It is clear that the Tories have very little interest in standing up for northern communities. The people of Northern Ontario deserve a government that is fully committed to protecting their interests and making the investments needed to bring more job opportunities and better public services to our region," said Orazietti.