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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

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.


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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votes: 3
Location: Ontario

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.


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

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

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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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.


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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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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Sault Ste Marie mpp David Orazietti to leave politics

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