Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
9:13 AM EDT
2014-03-25 at 16:53

Economic opportunity

MPP Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, addresses the audience at the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
MPP Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, addresses the audience at the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce's Leaders Luncheon at the Da Vinci Centre on Tuesday afternoon.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

Ontario remains committed to the Ring of Fire, says the province's economic development minister.

Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Trade Eric Hoskins met with city business leaders Tuesday and during his address he reaffirmed that the current government remains committed to the Ring of Fire project, calling its potential “unprecedented.”

Hoskins added that he is aware the mining industry presents the opportunity to be a significant economic driver for the region.

But he added that there's still opportunity for the Northwest beyond any single sector. 

“Here in the North we have mining, forestry but there’s a lot of other activity that takes place here. We’re seeing research and innovation, entrepreneurship and high tech so there’s tremendous opportunity to continue to invest in those sectors.”

Building partnerships between the government with business leaders, labour and academic institutions is vital to ensure those industries will thrive, he added.

One provider of well-paying and sustainable jobs is the local Bombardier plant, which Hoskins toured in the morning as part of his stop in the city.

The visit comes two days before a private member’s bill introduced last month by MPP Bill Mauro (Lib., Thunder Bay-Atikokan) has its second reading at Queen’s Park.

The bill would require municipalities to spend 60 per cent of the cost of transit purchases to be made in Ontario with all final assembly being done in the province.

While he said he is supportive of the principle behind Mauro’s bill, the Buy in Canada for Mass Transit Vehicles Act, Hoskins cautioned the implications of trade agreements such as the one the federal government is working on with the European Union would have to be taken into consideration.

“It has obvious economic benefit to the province but we need to balance that effort against existing international obligations but we want to create an environment we’re as competitive as possible,” Hoskins said.

The visiting minister also found himself entered into what has been a raging debate throughout the city.

During a brief question and answer session with attendees, Coun. Joe Virdiramo inquired about funding for the proposed event centre through a specific infrastructure grant.

Hoskins described himself as a supporter of the project and said he expected there would be funding of some form, noting the province put up their share of the third phase of the feasibility study.

He said he commended local political and business leaders for their efforts and said it is a project that has the ability to bring people to Thunder Bay from across the province as well as the rest of the world.



Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error



We've improved our comment system.
bttnk says:
Great to hear the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment supports the Event Centre in Thunder Bays beautiful and growing Waterfront District. Also very pleased that he publically suggested that there would be funding of some form. I have heard from a number of provincial politicians that funding is nearly a certainty. Once we complete this next phase I think we will be surprised how fast this process moves along.
3/26/2014 9:01:22 AM
progress now says:
Of note:

"I have heard from a number of provincial politicians that funding is nearly a certainty. Once we complete this next phase I think we will be surprised how fast this process moves along."

Why would we be surprised? Administration is hell bent on this project.
3/26/2014 10:28:15 AM
Dan Dan says:
As is the will of the people of Thunder Bay. Good job, for once, Council!
3/26/2014 11:54:40 AM
bttnk says:
Correction: Administration is hell bent on revitalizing the city and correcting decades of inactivity.
3/26/2014 1:38:50 PM
progress now says:
Correcting decades of inactivity?

This community was built on the foundations of the transport industry. Two thirds of our jobs were directly or indirectly related to our harbour, which was the third largest inland port by tonnage in the world.

All that ended with the change in markets and passage of the Western Grain Transportation Act.

The city reeled, stumbled but it never faltered.

You think the city administration is "correcting" for this? With an event centre? Such hyperbole. These facilities, in practise, poach prosperity from different parts and businesses in the community and are themselves money losers.

But the biggest tragedy lies in the path not taken. To tackle blight head on. To strengthen our neighbourhoods, because a neighbourhood that we take joy in living in is one people will want to visit, or maybe relocate to.

A $106 million facility risks our financial future as we tap in the dark moving into global economic uncertainty.

Some correction.
3/26/2014 3:22:20 PM
TBDR says:
so are most of the residents who don't hang out on this comment board... or the Robins on Syndicate.
3/26/2014 1:39:08 PM
Waldo Lydecker says:
How do you know what most of the residents want?
3/27/2014 5:17:10 PM
sudbury yahoo says:
Think you guys got the headlines mixed up.
This article should read "Not happening."
3/25/2014 10:03:02 PM
progress now says:
Interesting comment respecting the event centre:

"...it is a project that has the ability to bring people to Thunder Bay from ACROSS THE PROVINCE as well as the rest of the WORLD." (caps mine)

Sense or nonsense? You be the judge.

3/25/2014 7:47:34 PM
pc says:
they could have been committed a year or more ago and by now something would have started.
As it is they are now committed since they want to hold onto power.
And yes that could be electric or natural gas power but I mean power to screw the tax payers out of lots more money. boondoggles, fiascos, dissasters, frittering money away.
any one of those words could be used for what this government has done with our hard earned money.
Money that could go to feeding our families, saving for our retirement, saving to help our children get a good education.
but yes I guess they are committed until after the election.
Win or lose Ontario will not benefit from Wynnes caring hands.
3/25/2014 6:48:17 PM
Eastender says:
Well now, he cant very well say no just before an election. Can he?
But then again, he didn't give a resounding yes either.
3/25/2014 5:53:30 PM
lori says:
by and large I am okay with the message of this story but I don't see how this events centre is going to be the economic driver of dollars to T.Bay.

Is the guy from New Mexico coming up to T.Bay in the winter, probably not.

I don't see the return on the dollars spent. Not saying I am right in my opinion but I just don't see it.

As for Mauro's private members bill how stupid that something at the Federal level could derail something incredibly positive at our local level. Free Trade.

The ability for companies to drive down costs to the lowest penny to make sure profits are maximized.
3/25/2014 5:43:29 PM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In