Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle.
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The conservative’s Ministry of Natural Resources critic is blasting the province for what she calls an all-talk-and-no action approach to development in Northern Ontario.
MPP Laurie Scott (PC, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock) visited Thunder Bay this week to get a better sense of the city. She said her riding faces some of the same challenges as those in Northern Ontario and wanted to learn more about the organizations and businesses in this area.
Scott had sharp criticism for how the minority Liberal-led provincial government has handled development in the North and said the area has been an anchor for Ontario because of projects like the Ring of Fire. She added that Ontario hasn’t been giving those types of projects enough support.
“There’s a great deal of frustration to say we got so much potential here that we can grow on,” Scott said.
“We’ve had rough times but we’re ready to rebound. Enough talk from the Liberal government. Now let’s get some action.”
She called the way Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle and his party’s government have been dealing with development in the North a classic example of not living up to expectations and criticized the way that party handles situation involving First Nations.
“You’re (Gravelle) a minister in a Liberal government and you’re not assisting us more in developing our ideas,” she said referring to development with First Nations.
But the criticism seems ironic as Gravelle believes the PC’s own relationship with First Nations community has historically needed improvements. The Minister and local MPP said when the Progressive Conservative Party governed Ontario under the leadership of Mike Harris the relationship with First Nations was at an all-time low.
He added that his own Liberal party has worked hard to build good relationships with First Nation communities.
“We have worked closely with many organizations and certainly with First Nations,” Gravelle said. “(The Ring of Fire) is a huge project. It’s probably one of the biggest from an economic point of view in the past 100 years. The work we are doing with First Nation, municipal leaders and the company themselves is pretty important work.”
Gravelle said it’s easy for Scott to criticize how the government is handling the situation, but added that she knows how important the Ring of Fire development is to the North.
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