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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( brown was in the Soo again , part of a tour of northern Ontario )

Brown says Liberals not hearing municipalities

By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 4:09:53 EST PM

Patrick Brown

Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown says Queen's Park needs to better respond to the needs of cities like Sault Ste. Marie to ensure infrastructure is at levels that helps communities reach their full potential.

During a stop on his Northeastern Ontario tour Wednesday, Brown and by-election candidate Ross Romano urged the provincial Liberal government to resolve funding issues for major connecting link projects. North Bay MPP Vic Fideli and Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller are also part of the road trip.

Romano, also a Ward 6 city councillor, said Sault Ste. Marie needs the $5.6 million in provincial funding to widen Black Road, between McNabb and Second Line.

While a byelection has not yet been called, Romano is playing double duty and says council will be asked to support his motion at Monday's council meeting asking city staff to provide council with a clear understanding of what is required to be funded.

Last week, Ontario Transportation Minister Steven DelDuca was in Sault Ste Marie and encouraged the city to reapply for the funding, adding that after several years of cancelling the program, its reinstatement has resulted in a pent-up demand for the money and it could take several years for communities to receive funding for various projects.

The comments came as a result of questions from The Sault Star on why the city did not receive funding in 2016 for the project it deemed a priority. Until DelDuca's visit, it has also been under the impression that the decision would not be revisited.

Sault Ste. Marie has more connecting link roadway – 24 kilometres – than any other community because it doesn't have a bypass and has an additional link to the International Bridge.

Brown said he has several ideas that will ensure the infrastructure money is better spent.

He said performance measurements need to be established that examine looking at getting product to marketplace.

He also believes that pleas from Northern Ontario cities are being ignored.

Ross said that about a decade ago when Carmen's Way was constructed, the provincial government knew $15 million would be needed for a connecting link bypass from the east end of the city to Second Line, but the money has not flowed.

Brown said his philosophy is that municipal governments should develop their infrastructure priorities and partner with the province.

But he too admits the municipal lists could be long and costly.

“We're not going to get to anything, but we'll get a lot more than we are getting now if the Auditor General is correct and there are 35% overruns,” Brown said.

He refers to the Auditor General's report on the province's $160 billion, 12-year plan for Ontario.

The report revealed in December that random samples showed significant cost overruns, including a bridge that was built upside down and the same company received another provincial contract.

“If we're seeing cost overruns because there are no performance measurements, on infrastructure, I'm worried we're not getting value for taxpayer dollars and I'm concerned that we're not getting the proper attention when it comes to up north,” he said.

Brown is on a road tour of Northeastern Ontario, dubbed “The Northern Driving Tour.” He said driving the route in the winter months shows the need for better infrastructure in Ontario.

Last year, he made a similar trip in Northwestern Ontario.

His next leg of the tour includes Chapleau and Timmins on Thursday and Kapuskasing, New Liskeard and Haileybury on Friday.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC leader asks why electricity bills have gone up by almost 40 per cent at the Davey Home

The Ontario PC leader also stopped in today at the Group Health Centre and attended a meeting with the local chamber of commerce
about 11 hours ago by: Kenneth Armstrong

Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown (centre) is flanked by a cadre of fellow conservative MPPs and candidate Ross Romano (far right) during a press availability today at the F.J. Davey Home. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown is asking how the provincial Liberal government doesn’t consider there to be a hydro crisis while a local long-term care home says their hydro bill have spiked in just one year.

Brown made an appearance in Sault Ste. Marie today during his current tour of northern Ontario, stopping this afternoon at the F.J. Davey Home — a long-term care nursing home with 374 beds.

The facility, said Brown, has experienced a dramatic increase in its electricity bill over the course of just one year.

“Their hydro bill has gone up 39 per cent over one year — $165,000,” he said.

Brown said he asked for a list of internal services affected by the increase in energy costs.

“The list shocked me — it affects housekeeping, laundry, dietary, plant maintenance, repairs. What they have summarized to me is do we want seniors in a home or an institution. Because if you don’t have plants, if you don’t have clean sheets, it becomes more of an institution,” said Brown.

He added, “right now, they are cutting corners they can’t cut. They are cutting care they can’t cut, and it’s not right.”

Brown, who represents the riding of Simcoe North, plans on bringing up the facility’s spike in energy costs when he returns to Queen’s Park.

“There is a cost to Kathleen Wynne’s hydro crisis, and it goes well beyond dollars and cents and businesses. It’s affecting our most vulnerable,” said Brown.

Electricity costs, said Brown, also came up in his meeting today with the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce.

Among other topics of conversation, he said, were infrastructure, the skills gap and red tape.

“The chamber has been a great voice for small businesses and we have a lot of mutual concerns,” said Brown.

In a morning meeting at the Group Health Centre, Brown said he heard how the centre had to close down mental health services in 2012 as a result of a 12-year funding freeze.

Brown wonders how people can be encouraged to come forward and speak about their mental health issues, while funding is cut across the province affecting those very programs.

With a byelection yet to be called in the Sault Ste. Marie riding, Brown said it is important for local candidate Ross Romano to get out early, doing door-to-door conversations with voters in the riding.

The Ontario PCs have won four of the last five byelections that were called since the 2014 general election.

“In every byelection, we have seen the Conservatives with huge increases of support and the Liberals in every single byelection with massive decline in support. I have to say, there is a real appetite for change in the province and I think increasingly voters are looking at the PC party,” said Brown.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath was in town last weekend, making a policy announcement and attending various Bon Soo events.

Romano and Brown planned to go knocking on doors late this afternoon, something the pair did on Brown’s last visit.

“(Romano) has a great response at the doors. People are fed up with the Wynne government — especially on hydro and health cuts. What I was most impressed with — he spoke fluent Italian,” said Brown.

Brown was scheduled to drop the puck at tonight’s game between the Soo Greyhounds and the visiting Sudbury Wolves.

In advance of Brown’s visit, the Liberal Caucus Service Bureau issued a news release with points countering some of Brown’s expected talking points.

Of the skills gap, the bureau noted Brown voted against giving free university and college tuition to middle and low income families.

In the case of infrastructure spending, the bureau pointed out provincial funding for Sault Area Hospital, ARCH, Algoma University and the retrofitting of the Bt. Basil and Alexander Henry secondary schools for future use as elementary schools.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what's significant about the push in Sault Ste Marie is it marks the first time in years if not decades the Ontario pc's have taken a riding in northern Ontario seriously , other than of course the Nipissing and Parry Sound Muskoka ridings they already hold .

for some reason the party had virtually written off northern Ontario long before the votes were even cast and had not run serious campaigns in some of these ridings in years , leaders would rarely visit and candidates nominated were so low profile they didn't stand a chance .

this marks a significant change in the party and the way it thinks and how it views Ontario , its back to being a party that is focused on the entire province not just southern Ontario

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the liberals have finally responded to browns visits by sending in mpp Bill Mauro , who claims the soo is in a better place now than it was before ? and reminds voters of the scary pc government that was in place before 2003 , the one where the economy was booming and the government actually ran balanced budgets and wasn't $ billions in debt )

Mauro says Sault in better place with Liberals

By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star

Thursday, February 16, 2017 3:34:48 EST PM

Thunder Bay–Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro was appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on March 25. REG CLAYTON/Miner and News

Sault Ste. Marie is in a far better position today than it was prior to 2003 when the Tories were in power, charges the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Bill Mauro (MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan), takes issue with Opposition PC leader Patrick Brown's comments that the North is being ignored.

Brown made the remark to reporters as he and PC by-election candidate Ross Romano urged the provincial government to provide connecting link funding to the four-laning of Black Road between McNabb Street and Second Line. The city's application for 2016 had been denied.

Mauro also criticized Romano, a Ward 6 councillor, for not having a better perspective of what occurred between 1995 and 2003 and from 2003 to the current years with the municipalities and their funding.

“It's even more surprising that a sitting councillor would not have a better distinction between what our government has brought in terms of support to municipalities compared to what the Conservatives did when they were in power,” Mauro said in a telephone interview from his Thunder Bay office. “That's the part that jumped off the page for me. Maybe he's just not aware of the history.”

Mauro said that the City of Sault Ste. Marie receives about $33 million annually from the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) grant and from the value of uploaded services.

That's about $11 million more per year than what was provided to the city prior to 2004, he said.

Mauro said “Sault Ste. Marie is in a far better position with our government than it was.”

He said Brown's argument is “absolutely ridiculous. The numbers are very overwhelming and very clear and transparent. . . He is so far off the mark.”

Sault Ste. Marie is awaiting Premier Kathleen Wynne and her call for a by-election to replace former MPP David Orazietti.

Orazietti stepped down Dec. 31 in order to spend more time with his family.

Wynne has six months to call the by-election and on a recent visit to Sault Ste. Marie has said that she will make that call in due course.

The Liberals have not formally selected their candidate yet.

The PC's have crowned Ross Romano as their candidate and the NDP's have chosen Joe Krmpotich as their candidate to run in the by-election.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Romano and Brown Push Connecting Link Funding For Black Road

By Craig Huckerby -
February 15, 2017

When it comes to connecting link funding, Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown said his government would do things differently. Brown along with local PC candidate and City Councillor Ross Romano made a statement to press Wednesday, the first day of the PC leader’s Northern Ontario Tour.

Brown said he would let the municipalities decide where infrastructure money is spent.

The City has applied for funding under the connecting links program to widen Black Road from McNabb street to Second Line. The funding request was flatly refused by the current government stating that it did not qualify as a connecting link.

That leaves Ross and council scratching their heads on that logic.

“The Ministry of Transportation has said it didn’t qualify because Black Road was used primarily by local traffic but what connecting link doesn’t have local traffic?” Ross has put forth a motion on the subject for the next council meeting.

Prior to David Orazietti resigning his seat as MPP, the MTO was firm on its decision however now that a by-election is about to be called for Sault Ste. Marie , the MTO is now inviting the City to re-apply for the funding Romano said.

Connecting links funding was approved for the section from Trunk Road to McNabb but denied for McNabb to Second Line last year.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two city councillors have already tossed their hats in the ring to carry banners in a yet-to-be-called byelection to replace former Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti

By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star

Sunday, February 26, 2017 8:08:24 EST PM

SAULT STE. MARIE - When city councillors enter the council chambers, they need to be cognizant of their role and leave their other hats outside.

Granted, it's something that is often difficult to do.

All councillors – and everyone in general – wears more than one hat in their daily lives. That's understandable. And it's expected, to a certain degree.

But right now in Sault Ste. Marie, an interesting scenario is brewing.

Two city councillors have already tossed their hats in the ring to carry banners in a yet-to-be-called byelection to replace former Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti. A third might join the race.

Orazietti stepped down Dec. 31. A byelection doesn't have to be called until June 30.

Once it's called, it's expected that the candidates, who are also city councillors, will take a leave of absence from their council roles until the election is over.

But, in the meantime, they are free to continue to serve as acting city councillors.

It's important that they leave their electioneering hats outside council chambers and it is just as important for Mayor Christian Provenzano to ensure that they do while he is chairing meetings.

Some will argue that politics is politics, but others believe there is a line that shouldn't be crossed.

The public has already seen a few instances in which the two candidates are playing double duty.

Ross Romano, the Progressive Conservative candidate, showed up at the city's bus terminal earlier this month to hear what Ontario's Minister of Transportation Steve DelDuca had to say about gas tax money. Of course, Romano, wearing his candidate hat, told media that it was too little, too late.

About a week later, he travelled around the city with Opposition Leader Patrick Brown and appeared for several media events, the most interesting one at the corner of Black Road and Second Line where, as a PC candidate, he vowed to use his councillor hat to write a resolution urging the provincial government to provide connecting link funding to widen the road.

When the resolution was read at Tuesday's council meeting, CAO Al Horsman told council that there has been discussions with the MTO and the city was going to reapply for funding in 2018. Most councillors would have withdrawn their resolution at that point.

Instead, Romano pushed forward urging his colleagues to get clarification on application criteria in writing.

Romano may have crossed the line here, using his city councillor position to further his agenda and the arguments made during Brown's stop in Sault Ste. Marie. At one point, he even referred to “the other hat I wear” during the council discussion. That reference shouldn't happen.

Joe Krmpotich, who will carry the NDP banner in the byelection, was present at the Sault Ste. Marie Centennial Library when part-time staff there and part-time teachers at Algoma University exchanged letters of support for each others negotiations. In this instance it was not clear whether he was there as a political candidate, a city councillor or as a representative of the United Steelworkers, with which he is currently employed.

Krmpotich also accompanied NDP leader Andrea Horwath across Sault Ste. Marie and the two, along with MPP Mike Mantha, held a media event at the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, citing the need to invest in youth through integrated learning programs that give young people a combined education and on-the-job experience if a private member's bill passes.

Krmpotich was very careful not to cross the line here. He kept his comments focused on the byelection and away from his role as city councillor.

It's expected that many more examples of 'politicking' will arise over the next couple of months.

Ironically, according to the Municipal Act, that's OK.

Members of council seeking election for higher government offices are permitted to retain their seats on city council until officially elected into another office. However, general practice has been that candidates take a leave of absence after the writ has dropped.

So, we wait.

As taxpayers, we elect our city councillors after careful consideration about their views and values of the community, their life experiences and their perception about what our city should look like in the future.

Electors take into account what each individual brings to the table and how that person can work with 12 other people around that table to find consensus. It's expected that outside life experience will play a role in the discussion and decision-making process, but it's also imperative that members of council carefully consider their actions in the role they are in.

The candidates for the byelection need to walk cautiously and make sure they have the appropriate hat on at any given time.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( wynne's hope of finding a high profile city councillor to run for the liberals just doesn't seem to be materialising , the one they had been trying to lure away has said no , this leaves liberal race entirely open with no clear favorite )

Shoemaker nixes run for provincial seat

By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 10:47:41 EST AM

Coun. Matthew Shoemaker will not be running for a provincial seat in the coming byelection.

Matthew Shoemaker has decided that he will not hoist the Liberal banner in Sault Ste. Marie's provincial byelection.

Shoemaker, a first-term Ward 3 councillor, said he put a lot of thought into the decision and consulted with his family and friends.

“There is no one reason why I am not running, but a number of things,” he explained.

Shoemaker has rolled up his sleeves and delved into his city council work, a job he says he doesn't take lightly.

With 67 motions penned throughout the first portion of his term, Shoemaker thinks he can best work for the city at the council table.

“This city is having some difficult times and I thought I could best put my energy into the efforts I'm pursuing at council right now,” he said.

In addition, Shoemaker said he's also running a busy law practice.

“I considered where I could be the best effect for the community and at this point in time, I think that is at the (city) council table,” he said.

Shoemaker said the decision was a tough one to make but he's glad he went through the process and feels honoured to having been asked to run for the empty city, vacated by David Orazietti at the end of 2016, after more than 13 years of serving office. He resigned in order to spend more time with his family.

He said recent poll results which suggest Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals have dropped dramatically in recent months, did not play a factor in his decision.

“Sault Ste. Marie has benefited greatly from having a seat when David was there,” he said. “We have a new hospital, new schools, businesses have received NOHFC funding, the steel plant has receive modernization money and the list goes on,” he said. “The Liberals have a good government record here and one we should be proud of and one David should be proud of.”

But Shoemaker hasn't ruled out never running for higher office.

“We'll have to see about the timing of everything. Right now the timing is just not right,” he said.

Meanwhile, NDP's candidate Joe Krmpotich and PC candidate Ross Romano have already started their campaigning with door knocking and stomping with provincial party leaders.

Wynne must call the byelection by June 30, a maximum of six months after Orazietti resigned.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( with shoemaker out , race for liberal nomination is entirely open and no clear option , wynne is clearly in deep trouble in the soo and this will be a difficult riding for her to hold onto )

Shoemaker declines Liberal nomination

He says city council is 'where I can drive the most change'
about 4 hours ago by: Darren Taylor

FILE PHOTO: Ward 3 councillor Matthew Shoemaker. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

Ward 3 City Councillor Matthew Shoemaker has decided not to seek the Liberal nomination for the Sault riding in the yet-to-be-called provincial byelection.

Shoemaker’s decision comes after local political pundits spent several weeks of wondering ’will he or won’t he?’

Shoemaker had expressed his interest in the nomination after former Sault MPP David Orazietti announced his departure from provincial politics in December.

“It was mid to late last week that I settled on the decision and informed the local riding association they would have to seek out another candidate,” Shoemaker told SooToday Wednesday.

“I thought I could perhaps be more effective at city council, continuing with the initiatives I’ve been trying to push since I was elected (as a city councillor, for the first time, in 2014),” Shoemaker said.

“I didn’t want to give that role up.”

“I’ve been trying to get things rolling at council, with 65 motions I’ve moved or seconded . . . I’m trying to get things done at council, trying to push the agenda and really trying to improve the functioning of the municipality so that it is a place that encourages opportunity and drives change.”

Orazietti announced his retirement from provincial politics in mid-December, his time as MPP officially done Dec. 31. Legally, the government has six months from that date in which to call a byelection to fill the vacant Sault seat.

The Progressive Conservatives nominated Ross Romano as their candidate for the Sault riding back in November, while Joe Krmpotich was picked to fly the NDP’s colours Jan. 25.

“With Matt out, we’re waiting on others . . . there’s no fixed date (for a nomination meeting). As the situation changes, we’ll move along pretty quick and be up and running,” said Richard Fiacconi, Sault Ste. Marie Provincial Liberal Association president.

Skeptics may say Shoemaker has chosen not to seek the Liberal nomination in order to protect and preserve his young political career by not representing an unpopular Liberal government.

But that’s not the case, Shoemaker said.

“I would say David Orazietti achieved so much for our community that I would have been proud to stand on his record, and the record of the party. We’re still the government in power. We continue to effect change with the steel plant and connecting links, and things like that.”

“I think I would have been a good contender had I put my name forward but . . . I thought the best way to continue driving the agenda is at the municipal level,” Shoemaker said.

“There’s no (party) restrictions on how you can drive the agenda forward (at the municipal level) . . . it’s where I can drive the most change.”

Shoemaker said he has settled on his decision and doubts if he would reconsider in the 2018 general election.

Shoemaker said his advice for the Sault Liberal candidate, whoever he or she will be, would be to campaign on the achievements of Orazietti, who served as a cabinet minister, and the Liberal government.

“I would advocate the benefits of having someone in government to drive that local agenda at Queen’s Park.”

Premier Kathleen Wynne, in a Jan. 26 visit to the Sault, told reporters “stay tuned, there will be a byelection called in due course,” adding there needs to be a careful candidate search.

Wynne, during that same visit, told the media she thinks Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano is serving as an effective voice for the Sault during the current wait for a Liberal nomination meeting and byelection call.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brown is in it to win it;
Have to respect that.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Brown is in it to win it;
Have to respect that.

they have spent a lot of time there , much more than in past years , already have a campaign office in the riding too , considering there past results the campaign appears to be going good

wynne on the other hand can't find anyone on city council to run for her and no former liberal mp's or mpp's from the soo , really not sure who there plan b is or who would want to run for the liberals rate now ?

they'll obviously find someone but without a star candidate does seem they are going to have trouble keeping this one

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the ndp leader appears to have been back in the Soo )

Electricity costs at Sault hospital have jumped more than $800K

NDP leader Andrea Horwath says the rising electricity costs have resulted in hospital cuts to staff
3 h by: Kenneth Armstrong

20170313 Joe Krmpotich Andrea Horwath NDP Sault Area Hospital KA 01
Candidate Joe Krmpotich speaks during a press event with NDP leader Andrea Horwath in front of Sault Area Hospital today. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

An increase of more than $800,000 in Sault Area Hospital’s electricity bill at the same time the province has frozen hospital funding is putting patient care in jeopardy, says NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

Documents obtained by the NDP through the Freedom of Information Act show SAH’s electricity consumption has remained the same between 2011 and 2015, while the cost of that electricity has gone up 45 per cent — from $1.8 million annually to almost $2.7 million.

Horwath is in the Sault today to address SAH cuts as part of a campaign stop with Joe Krmpotich, NDP candidate in the yet-to-be-called by-election for the Sault Ste. Marie riding.

The increase in electricity costs have had an effect of the level of care offered at the hospital, said Horwath.

“Here we have a situation where there’s almost a million dollar increase in costs at the same time as a freeze in funding. There’s only one thing a hospital can do is cut — and that is what they have been doing,” said Horwath.

“The pressure from skyrocketing hydro bills and frozen hospital budgets has already led to frontline workers being laid off, and longer wait times for diagnostic tests like MRIs or CT scans,” she said.

Horwath said she has heard estimates that as many as 300 SAH workers have been laid off.

In an emailed response to SooToday questions, a spokesperson for SAH acknowledged the increase.

"SAH has not made decisions directly tied to the increase in electricity rates. There are no planned layoffs of frontline staff at Sault Area Hospital," said Brandy Sharp Young, Sault Area Hospital's communications and volunteer resources manager.

The issue of electricity costs affects all Ontario hospitals, said Sharp Young.

"SAH is challenged annually to find efficiency improvements in our operations due to many factors such as the impacts of health system funding reform, zero to minimal increases in hospital funding over the last several years, compensation increases and increasing electrical rates," she said.

SAH is working advocating with other hospitals in the province and the Ontario Hospital Association for the province to address cost pressures, said Sharp Young.

"Sault Area Hospital is working collaboratively with other Ontario Hospitals and the Ontario Hospital Association to advocate for a provincial approach to address the cost pressures facing health care in Ontario," she said.

The effects of rising electricity costs are being felt by hospital staff, said Krmpotich.

“They are health care. It’s very important they are staffed to the appropriate levels and that the funding is there for them," said Krmpotich.

He added, “we certainly don’t want to see cutbacks in staff that are going to impact the health and well-being of our families.”

Glenda Hubbley, a Registered Nurse at the hospital and president of the Ontario Nurses Association local in Sault Ste. Marie, said nursing hours have been lost in the imaging diagnostics unit.

“We just want to provide the best care possible, but it’s getting harder and harder to do that,” said Hubbley in an NDP press release.

The province’s plan to reduce electricity rates by 25 per cent applies to residents, some businesses and farms — but Horwath said it is unclear how institutions like hospitals or schools will be affected.

Last month, the NDP released their plan to reduce electricity costs in the province by 30 per cent.

“Our plan is pretty clear, the Liberals though — we don’t have any paper yet, not a scrap of paper that says what their plan actually is,” said Horwath.

The plan also includes stopping the privitization of assets, like HydroOne.

“All of this privitization of our electricity system over the last 20 years is what is creating the lack of competitiveness we now have,” said Horwath.

Deregulation of the province's electricity system began under the Ontario PC Mike Harris government.

“Quebec and Manitoba didn’t privatize any of their systems and they are charging less than half of what we are,” said Horwath.

PC candidate Ross Romano observed today's press conference and noted the NDP supported the Green Energy Act, which he dubbed the Bad Contracts Act.

“They are just as responsible as the Liberals are for this hydro mess we’re in now,” said Romano.

Horwath said green energy was not the problem, it was the contracts negotiated by the Liberal government.

“We certainly support the act because we believe it’s important to bring renewables put on to the grid and get rid of the complete dependance on fossil fuels," said Horwath.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( buy election ? once again were seeing funding announcements targeting a by election riding , a pattern we've seen over the years when liberals in power . I'm sure this road genuinely needs the repairs but to hand out $2 million is funding to a riding facing an imminent by election looks fishy )

Province to take second look at funding Black Road widening

In the meantime, city will receive $2.3 million in funding for Second Line projects
about 22 hours ago by: Kenneth Armstrong

Steven Del Duca, Ontario's minister of Transportation, seen during today's Connecting Links funding announcement at the Civic Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. The city will receive $2.3 million in funding from the program for two resurfacing projects on Second Line. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

Lobbying by the mayor and senior city staff regarding the eligibility of certain Connecting Links projects for provincial funding has resulted in a change of heart by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), but the city cannot apply for widening of Black Road until next year.

In the meantime, the MTO has approved more than $2.3 million in funding for two resurfacing projects on Second Line, which are expected to be completed this year.

Steven Del Duca, Ontario’s minister of Transportation, announced funding for 19 projects across the province today at the Civic Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

Del Duca said making the announcement in Sault Ste. Marie had nothing to do with an impending byelection for the Sault Ste. Marie riding.

Instead, Del Duca cited Sault Ste. Marie as having the most kilometres of connecting links as one of the reasons he travelled to the Sault to make the announcement.

“I felt it was important to come back here and deliver this good news to the community and I look forward to continuing to work with Sault Ste. Marie,” said Del Duca.

He said 77 municipalities in Ontario are eligible to apply for funding under the Connecting Links program.

When in the city in February for a gas tax funding announcement, Del Duca met with Mayor Christian Provenzano and senior city staff. Provenzano said the conversation turned to the widening of Black Road — a project the MTO decided was ineligible for Connecting Links funding.

“I had the city’s engineer explain to the minister why we saw (the widening of Black Road) as a valid project and why it should be approved and why we hoped we could apply for it in the future and have it approved,” said Provenzano immediately after today’s announcement.

Del Duca said widening projects will now be considered for Connecting Links funding, but the city’s next opportunity to apply won’t be until 2018.

Al Horsman, chief administrative officer for the city of Sault Ste. Marie, said just because widening projects are now eligible for funding doesn’t mean the Black Road project will be approved.

Horsman said the city was led to believe widening projects were eligible when they made the Black Road application in January of 2016.

“But there was some nuances in the language of the criteria. The province (MTO) had determined from priorities it wasn’t eligible because they had other priorities,” said Horsman.

Del Duca said he thinks the project guidelines were clear.

“Going forward, I think there’s an expectation this city will apply (for the Black Road widening project) and the ministry will review the application when we receive it,” said Del Duca.

The Second Line projects are expected to go out to tender in May, with construction scheduled between July and October, says city engineering staff.

The project includes resurfacing of Second Line between Carmen's Way and North Street, and between Great Northern Road and Old Garden River Road.

The project will also include a new sidewalk on Second Line between Great Northern Road and Old Garden River Road.

For 2017-18, the province is making available $25 million in funding to the 77 municipalities in Ontario which have ‘connecting links,’ municipal roadways which connect to provincial highways and border crossings.

Next year, the funding is planned to increase to $30 million.

The MTO cancelled the Connecting Links program in 2013, but reintroduced it in spring 2015 for projects beginning in the 2016 construction season.

Because the city only applied for the Black Road project and it was deemed ineligible, no Connecting Links money flowed to the Sault in 2016.

The announcement of the reintroduction of the program was made in Sault Ste. Marie by Del Duca, in part because Sault Ste. Marie has the largest share of connecting links in the province at 24.5 kilometres.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't blame them for trying;

They made the announcement to cancel the Mississauga Gas Fire Plant during the election campaign and retained Mississauga-South, Mississauga-Cooksville, and Etobicoke-Lakeshore in the process.

Ontario voters love being bought with their own money.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Can't blame them for trying;

They made the announcement to cancel the Mississauga Gas Fire Plant during the election campaign and retained Mississauga-South, Mississauga-Cooksville, and Etobicoke-Lakeshore in the process.

Ontario voters love being bought with their own money.

its unfortunate these kind of things are almost expected especially up north , a lot of those ridings have pretty much told the government of the day we'll support you if you send a little cash our way .

since 2003 sault ste marie has seen money flow for hospitals , roads , schools etc , would it had been treated so well if not for being a government riding ? I know my riding didn't see that kind of money

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( word of a possible liberal candidate for the Soo , but unclear if she actually wants to run or not )

Could Debbie Amaroso Take The Liberal Nomination?

By Craig Huckerby -
April 3, 2017

With just two months left before the deadline for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to call a by-election in Sault Ste. Marie, the Sault Liberal Association may have found their candidate – maybe.

A phone survey making its rounds asks voter’s who would they voted for. It lists the two other candidates, Ross Romano for the PC, Joe Krmpotich for NDP and Debbie Amaroso for the Liberals.

Amaroso confirmed to SaultOnline.com on Sunday, “they have approached me but I haven’t made any decisions yet” Amaroso said. Amaroso has been off the public radar since 2014.

Amaroso served for one term as Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie from 2010 to 2014. She was the Sault’s first woman as Mayor. Prior to becoming Mayor, Amaroso was a city councillor for ward 5 for many years.

Several rumours have been floating around starting with Ward 3 councillor Matthew Shoemaker possibly running. Though Shoemaker considered running, he decided he was content with his workload as councillor. Other names circulating were ward 2 councillor, Sandra Hollinsworth and even Mayor Christian Provenzano.

Premier Wynne has until June 30th to call the by-election to replace long term MPP David Orazietti who had held the riding since being elected MPP in October 2003.

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Sault Ste Marie mpp David Orazietti to leave politics

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