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2014-03-26 at 17:29

Regional ally?

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
91.5 CKPRWin a backyard BBQ valued at over $1500 with Your At Play Station, 91.5 CKPRClick here

Northern leaders are looking at the new minister of municipal affairs and housing as another ally in the region's corner.

The Northern Ontario Municipal Association is ecstatic about Premier Kathleen Wynne's appointment of MPP Bill Mauro (Lib., Thunder Bay-Atikokan) as outgoing minister Linda Jeffery's replacement.

NOMA president and Kenora mayor David Canfield said the organization was abuzz with the news Wednesday morning.

"NOMA is quite happy with the fact we now have two ministers," he said, noting that with Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle at the helm of Northern Development and Mines, the region's lead ministry, and Mauro leading the main portfolio for municipalities, the region is in a win-win situation.

"It'll be a great opportunity to work with these gentlemen who have a passion for Northwestern Ontario and have a passion for their area to work even closer and hopefully make things happen even quicker," said Canfield.

The battle with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation over industrial tax reassessments and ensuring the region has the energy it needs are the two biggest issues Northwestern Ontario is facing and Canfield said he looks forward to the new working relationship with both Mauro and Gravelle.

"We plan on getting together as soon as possible and start getting things moving," said Canfield.

Mauro's experience as a city councillor will be an asset, said Canfield, adding he's excited to see the newly appointed minister search back into his previous life in municipal politics and use it as a tool.

Not only is Mauro's council experience valuable, but so is his time as a housing manager for the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administrative Board, said DSSAB vice-chairman Aldo Ruberto.

"We're very, very happy that he's there," said Ruberto of Mauro's new cabinet post.

"I'm sure Bill is very aware of what our needs are in terms of housing," he said, noting the city has brought the issue forward to the intergovernmental committee many times.

The district's biggest issue is the lack of affordable housing.

Ruberto said it's expensive to build and not many people are going to build affordable housing units without government incentives.

And while Ruberto knows Mauro has to work within the budget he's given, he's pleased the minister of municipal affairs and housing has experience in city politics.

"He is very aware of our issues and he knows exactly what's going on," said Ruberto.

Gravelle is thrilled for his colleague and said that the ministry of municipal affairs and housing is an important portfolio to hold.

"It's one that's crucially important to certainly the municipal leadership here in Northern Ontario," he said.

Gravelle believes this will make the pair of MPPs an even stronger team now that they'll both be sitting around the cabinet table.

 

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Comments

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Ed itw says:
This is almost as exciting as Bruce Hyer beating out Elizabeth May's cat to be deputy leader of the Green Party.
3/26/2014 8:19:07 PM
betterbob says:
Sounds like a desperate attempt to save the votes they know they've lost from the Northerners. They have (or had, anyway, before losing a number of byelections) Southern Ontario, but they think that if they throw us a few bones before Election day we'll forget all about the Liberal track record.

It won't work on this voter. I will not be voting for them again.
3/26/2014 9:48:01 PM
progress now says:
These are more mature observations than the one offered by Mary Kozorys yesterday. This is how politicians should respond to this kind of news.

We don't know how long the government will last. That is the way of it with minority governments, even strong ones (numerically) like the one we have now. Lets enjoy it while it lasts.
3/26/2014 10:41:34 PM
trevor99 says:
NOMA is happy, Hobbs is happy, members of council are happy. It seems most people are happy at this announcement except for the slow minded regular posters here and our newspaper. Check the other story for the usual hateful comments that often appear here.

Yes all is normal in Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
3/26/2014 11:37:09 PM
smoke stack says:
Mauro could only be cabinet minister for 1 month. The politicians will go on their easter break for 2 weeks. the Ontario budget will either be before the easter break(starts april 11)or shortly after. The provincial Liberals were looking at an election date of Thursday, May 29, which under Ontario legislation would have to be called on Wednesday, April 30, the week the legislature returned from its Easter break . The ndp will vote against the budget which will trigger an election.
3/27/2014 9:26:17 AM
mikethunderbay says:
Love this site, people always posting "facts". The fact is you are simply wrong. Wynne has already stated that the budget will be delivered on May 1st or 8th so your entire post is baseless. The earliest an election will happen is June, and there is no guarantee the ndp will vote against this budget as there polling numbers are low and continuing to drop.
Also at the time I'm writing this 3 people have agreed with your post, how sad. Congrats to Mr. Mauro, well deserved.
3/27/2014 11:04:50 AM
smoke stack says:
Dumb Dumb- read the comment again. Comment said COULD only be cabinet minister for 1 month not WILL only be cabinet minister for 1 month.

Comment said shortly after the easter break. May 1st is the week they get back from easter break.

The liberals have been on record as saying 'were looking at may 29' as an election date NOT may 29 will be the election date.

The liberals are expecting Horvath and the ndp to vote against the budget. We'll see if they(ndp) do. I'll congratulate Mauro for being named cabinet minister even though it COULD only be for 1 month and a 1/2 or 2 months.
3/27/2014 12:11:20 PM
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