Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
2:16 PM EDT
2014-05-25 at 16:42

Platform unveiled

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne answers questions from media following her platform unveiling in Thunder Bay on Sunday.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne answers questions from media following her platform unveiling in Thunder Bay on Sunday.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The Ontario Liberals are pledging to remove the strings attached to their $1 billion commitment to the Ring of Fire if re-elected, even if it means no matching contribution from the federal government.

The announcement, made by Leader Kathleen Wynne in Thunder Bay on Sunday during the unveiling of her party’s election campaign platform, was one of the cornerstones of the party’s plans to make progress on the lucrative mining project.

“Since we introduced the budget over three weeks ago there has been no indication from the federal government they are interested in stepping up and taking what I think is the responsibility to work with us and make a commitment to the Ring of Fire,” Wynne said.

“We have determined this is such an important investment we need to go ahead with or without the federal government.”

The funding, which was first introduced In the 2014 budget that was tabled on May 1 before being rejected by the New Democrats the next day, was contingent upon Ottawa forking up for infrastructure.

Wynne was greeted by a standing ovation when she announced the campaign promise to her crowd of supporters at the Valhalla Inn.

Story continues after video...



The $1 billion, which is said to be accessible immediately, is targeted towards the construction of a main road corridor to the mineral deposit sites.

In addition to the funding, the freshly unveiled platform promises to establish a development corporation to spearhead the Ring of Fire within 60 days of re-election.

The development corporation, an entity that was first proposed last fall, would be composed of the provincial government, federal government, local communities, First Nations groups and private sector partners.

Thunder Bay-Superior North candidate Michael Gravelle insists the timing of the establishment of the corporation is as a result of progress made between various stakeholders rather than the calling of an election.

The former Minister of Mines and Northern Development cited the Regional Framework Agreement reached with the nine Matawa First Nations as an example of that progress.

“We’ve done some very significant work with the development corporation,” Gravelle said. “The fact is good work has been done with many, many meetings between the potential partners, industry, the province and First Nations and I feel we’re finally in a position to move forward.”

Wynne told her supporters she was “baffled” by the lack of any significant Ring of Fire related commitments from either Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak or New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath.

Horwath deflected questions pertaining to the Ring of Fire during her visit to the city early in the campaign.

For the most part, the platform devised by Wynne, who is in her first campaign as party leader, directly mirrors the proposed budget that triggered the election.

Describing that budget as the “fiscal framework” of the platform, the campaign blueprint intends to reintroduce the budget. It will contain no new spending or revenue than the one originally tabled in Queen’s Park.

Instead, the platform was described as providing specific directions of where previously announced funding would go.
It includes initiatives that were announced during the budget such as an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, the $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund and $29 billion for transportation infrastructure.

Within the plan is a pledge to four-lane Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon, but when that would be completed remains up in the air.

“I’m not going to jump into exactly what the time frame would be but what I can tell you is that we know it’s one of the projects that is a priority and we will work to make it happen,” Wynne said.

Under the Liberal plan, total expenses for 2014 will be $130.4 billion, adding more than $11 billion to the province’s deficit.

The platform also reaffirms the party’s stated goal of balancing the provincial budget in 2017-2018.

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error



We've improved our comment system.
Blain says:
The voters of ON have to realize what they are doing before wasting a vote
5/26/2014 3:33:22 PM
john says:
"The $1 billion...is targeted towards the construction of a main road corridor to the mineral deposit sites."

Has a road been selected over rail? Or is this just a poor choice of words?

5/26/2014 11:30:54 AM
glass half full says:
I love the stern upper lip that Billy and Mikie have in every photo op...

5/26/2014 11:03:54 AM
djs says:
Although I would love to see the whole province with a divided highway, I would rather see the money spent on increasing the number of passing lanes on the highways that we have. So many new passing lanes could be created on most of the northern highways for the cost of dividing the road between Thunder Bay and Nipigon...and why is this happening anyway. Nipigon is not Barrie....
5/26/2014 8:32:30 AM
djs says:
It sounds good, but there is that little part where she says that they are going to be 11-12 billion in the red. Everyone else is expected to balance budgets--municipal governments, businesses, school boards, etc., but they are making wish lists that they can't afford. They seem to be "buying" votes again with money they don't and won't have...that makes me very nervous. What is to stop them from taking back what they say they will give when they are elected????
5/26/2014 8:26:37 AM
djs says:
It sounds good, but there is that little part where she says that they are going to be 11-12 billion in the red. Everyone else is expected to balance budgets--municipal governments, businesses, school boards, etc., but they are making wish lists that they can't afford. They seem to be "buying" votes again with money they don't and won't have...that makes me very nervous. What is to stop them from taking back what they say they will give when they are elected????
5/26/2014 8:26:02 AM
TooShort says:
Where is this money coming from ? ya that is the question. Will if you vote Liberal your voting for tax increases, so pretty sure that's where its coming from, U. We are the highest tax paying province and they want to keep it that way and keep raising taxes Liberals = no thanks ! NDP !!
5/26/2014 7:47:25 AM
TooShort says:
Where is this money coming from ? ya that is the question. Will if you vote Liberal your voting for tax increases, so pretty sure that's where its coming from, U. We are the highest tax paying province and they want to keep it that way and keep raising taxes Liberals = no thanks !
5/26/2014 7:43:15 AM
RAM501 says:
I've supported the Provincial Liberals for a long time. Just can’t do it anymore. When did the Party become more important than the people? Government has forgotten who they work for. Why is Wynne now offering this solo support for the Ring of Fire as an election promise? We elected them to support the North during the term, not to use support as a bargaining chip to get another term.
I still need to hear an apology for wasting a billion dollars of OUR money on failed election promises the last time around. Why haven’t we seen accountability around the gas plant scandal? Ms. Wynne clean up your house, bureaucrats and politicians, then we’ll talk.
Staying home June 12th.
5/26/2014 7:41:50 AM
yqtyqt says:
Don't do that RAM501. You're playing right into Wynnes hand if you don't vote. If the Liberals with their lying, cheating, vote-buying, cover-ups and corruption don't turn you on, vote for anybody else. Anyone. They surely can't be any worse than what we have today.

If you have children or grandchildren, remember that if you vote for more debt, you're simply passing the bills down to them.

Consider this fact. In Ontario, we pay the interest on the debt that the Liberals have accumulated, by borrowing almost the exact same amount. So in other words, we're borrowing to pay the interest on the money we'll already borrowed.

Go bring that proposal to your banker along with a balance sheet that shows that you're drowning in a sea of red ink & debt. See if he would vote to give you more money. That's exactly what Wynne is doing.
5/26/2014 10:34:36 AM
cm punk says:
Here we go again with the ring of smoke and mirrors.
This election will solve nothing and be another minority government.
Love the picture, that appears to be a school principal in the background.
No doubt a sunshine list person making 120k per year with a golden pension fund.
5/26/2014 7:40:08 AM
bttnk says:
What exactly is the problem with a principal making in excess of $100K? City managers make that much. Heck, electricians make that much.

I believe principals earn every dollar.
5/26/2014 9:43:55 AM
S Duncan says:
then pay them with your money, not mine.

go give them all your income if you think they are "worth it".

somehow I think youre just generous with other people's money.
5/26/2014 5:03:13 PM
hardrawkin says:
I'm all for spending a Billion to build a road for the mining company but there should be a levy on every ton of material removed to pay back the taxpayers and for future maintenance.

Since we apparently can't afford to maintain the roads we already have I would like to see where this billion will come from.
5/26/2014 6:44:28 AM
OilSandsMan says:
I find it absolutely appalling how this supposed leader Wynne has no sense of urgency to balance the budget, It currently costs over 10 billion dollars a year to service the debt in interest charges. That is projected to rise to 14 billion by 2018. This is just INTEREST ! Am I the only one who thinks this is insane ? And the numerous multi billion dollar scandals by this McWynnety Government have been sickening ! I'm not a fan of any of the current leaders. They all look pathetic. But I think you're gonna wake up the day after the election with a PC majority government cuz the folks in Southern Ontario are tired of the scandals and mismanagement. And good ole Thunder Bay is gonna re-elect Mike and Bill so we'll have NO voice at Queens Park for next 5 years.
5/26/2014 5:04:23 AM
tbay87 says:
Very tough election, do you vote for:
a.) The Conservatives and their dishonest numbers, pointless and expensive corporate tax cuts, overboard public service cuts, and caring more about the rich than the average Ontarian?
b.) The Liberals who have taken governing for granted and deserve to be punished, who have badly mismanaged the public purse, and broken too many promises to count (Mcguinty/Wynn aren't Chretian/Martin)
c.) The NDP who often seem to be as much in the hands of the unions as the Conservatives are in the hands of big business, who could very well make the debt worse, and have no track record in the province to speak of since Rae.
d.) The Greens who have no chance of winning and are largely a single platform party who would be completely unpredictable in governance.
e.) The Libertarians who also have no real chance of winning and their platform usually seems based in a fantasy world
e.) Other fringe candidates / parties
? Tough choice.
5/26/2014 12:50:21 AM
Steamy says:
Ontario is $300 BILLION in debt and getting deeper by $12 BILLLION more every year with the Liberals in control.

and Hudak is scary?

I don't think so. Its wynne and her further spendaholic plan that's our worst nightmare.

anybody who doesn't think its past time for cuts needs some serious help.
5/25/2014 11:48:54 PM
Shane Caker says:
Reminds me why I have never voted or got interested in politics in the first place. Whomever the lucky winners are, my life won't change one bit. Happy arguing all.
5/25/2014 11:41:42 PM
sweetazmaple says:
buying votes now i see
5/25/2014 10:53:57 PM
progress now says:
It seems if money isn't spent on the Ring of Fire, people here will complain. From other comments if we do spend it, others will find fault. I guess everyone will have to sort that one out for themselves.

I am not a member of any political party but was there with people who are Liberals. What impressed me was Ms. Wynn's view of the role of government. She also said we will never be able to lower our wages far enough to compete with the lowest wage earning countries in the world, which seems to me was quite wise. We have to look at other policy directions. From comments here, some will like that, some won't.

Firefighters apparently support the Liberals, I saw they were standing on either side of the podium and was surprised no mention was made of them.

Ms. Wynn seems friendly and engaging and if she isn't 100 per cent sincere, she gives a darn good impression of it.

I am looking forward to that debate tomorrow.

5/25/2014 9:32:30 PM
tammetree says:
I find it very difficult to believe that Kathleen had nothing to say about at a northern debate about the crisis regarding the Jury Roll issues that have started to cripple our justice system. I wrote kathleen easter long weekend after the man who is accused of killing my uncle was let out of jail due to this issue. She passed me off and would not even give me a response when I asked what progress is being made by the government and how many more years I and my family would have to see justice be served. She's giving the people false hope in order to get there votes in regards to the Ring of Fire, She won't be getting my vote that's for dam sure.
5/25/2014 9:20:52 PM
S Duncan says:
More debt, more spending, more interest payments and no responsibility. Yup, sounds like a typical liberal plan to me.

Im glad they want to improve mathematics skills because its obvious Thunder Bay's liberalists are lacking in that department.

Hudak announced a 10% reduction in income tax after 2 years with his plan. A plan that has solid numbers and actually pays down the debt instead of increasing it again and again.

Thankfully wynne is a goner this election. Thunder Bay should get on the blue bus!
5/25/2014 9:08:31 PM
Stucky says:
I like how you criticize everyone's skills while having the worst spelling and grammar skills on this board.
5/26/2014 2:18:00 PM
Clete says:
I find it funny how Who Dat has the answers but won't show up for the debate. I'am sorry but his job plan do's not add up but if he could come and explain it but oh yea he's not coming how ironic.
5/25/2014 7:22:24 PM
TWM says:
I suppose an empty chair at the northern debate is an acceptable choice? Hudak's unremarkable math skills isn't fooling me and his platform is not only reckless, it dangerous to Ontario
5/25/2014 7:06:05 PM
Watchful says:
And where is all this money coming from, oh yeah, more debt then bankruptcy. Good decision
5/25/2014 6:44:47 PM
musicferret says:
Some good ideas, some not so good. But the #1 question remains: where do the billions come from to pay for this? We are already spending money we don't have, and this will simply worsen that problem.

Our debt rating was already downgraded, and it will continue. Every time it is downgraded, it costs us more $ in interest each year. Already paying 14$ billion/year just in interest!!!!! Its not sustainable.
5/25/2014 6:34:56 PM
orca says:
These are good investments for the north. But where will the money come from? It’s not sustainable when you're spending more than you're earning. I don't want our province to go bankrupt in the future.
5/25/2014 5:58:43 PM
yqtyqt says:
That's a good question. Where is the money going to come from to pay for these promises? Lots of posters on here have presented the same question, over & over.

The Liberal answer to that question is...they don't have an answer.

But todays debate will feature a pile of the following:

Blah, blah, blah Tim Hudak. Remember, Wynne promised a clean campaign. But its easier for her to dump on someone else's plan than come up with one herself.

They'll "invest" money in the Ring of Fire. Hasn't that announcement already been re-announced many times over. Mikie dropped the ball....and then the Libs went silent.

The Libs will state that they want to create more jobs. Too bad they'll all turn out to be bureaucrats doing who knows what in Toronto.

What you won't hear today is:

Who are the liberals going to hold accountable for the $1.1 billion gas plant cancellation that bought the finance ministers seat.

How are they going to balance the budget & pay down their massive credit card debt?
5/26/2014 8:10:56 AM
newhere says:
It all sounds good however in my mind there is really only one issue and that is liberal corruption...they have become lazy because they feel they can take the electorate for granted...the waste, arrogance and cynicism cannot be rewarded...vote for anyone but a liberal as we need to draw a line in the sand otherwise we will continue to be treated as patsies and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
5/25/2014 5:48:01 PM
educator says:
Oh how quickly they forget. PC, the energy rates are so high because your Conservative party lead by then premier Mike "The Knife" Harris deregulated the industry.

The Liberals are not perfect, but they are certainly the lesser of the evils, especially when compared to Tim Hudak.

I am still trying to figure out how Hudak is going to create more jobs in Ontario per year, than the whole country creates in a year. Must be the new Conservative math, the same one he used to figure out that cutting 100,000 government jobs is not going to affect services.
5/25/2014 5:35:57 PM
dynamiter says:
In Ontario, the Liberal government, first under Dalton McGuinty and now under Wynne, has doubled Ontario’s debt to close to $300 billion in just over 10 years, is running an estimated $12.5 billion deficit this year, which has gone up in each of the past two years, and presided over the downgrading of Ontario’s credit rating.
In his now infamous budget of 1995, Paul Martin announced massive, unilateral cuts to federal transfer payments for health, social services and education. Under Martin's 1995 block fund, the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST), federal transfers to the provinces were slashed by almost $4 billion in two years - from $16.6 billion in 1995 to $12.6 billion in 1997.

The Martin cuts caught the provincial governments completely off guard. Martin slashed a line item but health care needs didn't let up in the provinces. The cash shortfalls forced the provinces to lay off health professionals and cut health services.

We can all blame Harris but Martin was the cause
5/25/2014 8:02:41 PM
S Duncan says:
Crying about and blaming Mike Harris for our Hydro costs after 10 years of a liberal government just makes you look pretty weak.

If all the problems are from 10 years ago, why have they not been fixed by the liberals?

The liberals are not perfect. They wasted over a billion dollars on cancelled gas plants to buy votes. Ornge theft anyone? smart meters? energy costs? HST on gasoline and home heating/ energy costs?

yeah, and what did Hudak do that makes him more evil?

Since you don't understand the PC plan, why don't you go learn about it? Or is it just too much in your nature to whine, cry, and complain while your union does the thinking for you?

Hudak is going to win, so all those public service union fattys can cry to their union and see what it gets them.

If Thunder Bay had any brains, they would jump on the blue team instead of crying for more welfare all the time.

The laughable part in this is wynne blaming Harper for her screw ups and failures on the ROF!
5/25/2014 9:21:38 PM
educator says:
S Duncan, the man with the answers to questions that have not yet been asked.

I started to read your buddy Hudak's plan, but had to stop after his 1 million job promise. I like the other sane people who attempted to read this work of fiction, could not control my laughter. Did he mean to write the greatest political comedy known to man?

Sure the sheep like yourself will buy what he is selling, but the rest of us remember the Mike Harris days and the last thing we want is a second course of what the Conservatives are serving.
5/26/2014 10:31:12 AM
S Duncan says:
You started to read the plan but since you allowed your emotions to over rule your ability to learn, you quit?

Yup, you're a liberal alright.

If you really are an educator, would you accept that scenario from a student? Can anybody imagine how our students fair so poorly on international education standards after seeing the teacher is incapable of completing a very simple read because they "didnt want to"??

Instead of acting like an adult and attempting in the simplest fashion, to become an educated voter, the "educator" was too emotionally conditioned to dismiss what they are too lazy to understand.

Instead the "educator" attempts to ridicule the author of the plan based simply on predjuidiced emotional ingrained nonsense. If you dont read the plan, how on Earth do you ever expect to learn or teach yourself anything?

its typical liberal fashion to just start attacking the person instead of maturely attempting to debate the content.

Thanks for exposing yourself.
5/26/2014 1:24:07 PM
Stucky says:
Deflect much?
5/26/2014 2:13:16 PM
S Duncan says:
I directed educator to read the platform. That's not a deflection, that's efficiency. Its already been written out and it will take far more characters than I can provide for you here.

Why not put on your big boy pants and go read?

or is it too easy to just repeat nonsense you were fed by the left wing media?

PS. still waiting for Harper's "secret agenda" all those socialist media types were crying about. Have they given up and moved on to Hudak now?

What next? going to start up the occupy wall street nonsense? How about Kony 2012? LOL, you left wingers are just too weak not too laugh at.
5/26/2014 4:55:42 PM
The Critic says:
Actually they are so high (and will be getting higher) because of the liberals green energy initiative, offering way-above-market pricing for solar/wind/private biomass power producers.

The price of electricity in a market environment is based on the amount of demand and the price of generation; OPG has been making up a smaller and smaller percentage of generation as all of the private power producers have smelled blood in the water with the ridiculous rates being paid. For all its faults such as overpaid employees/etc, OPG provides cheap Hydroelectric/Nuclear/Thermal power in comparison to the ridiculous rates being offered to "green energy" producers.
5/26/2014 8:18:36 AM
alarmforce says:
I wasn't going to vote for you before...... I sure would vote for you now.
5/25/2014 5:33:39 PM
enos012 says:
I fly is easily caught in a spider's web of lies....
5/25/2014 6:04:17 PM
pc says:
how can you balance a budget if you don't cut spending and stop borrowing on more credit cards?
I don't care what party you belong to this is just wrong thinking.
At some point the creditors are going to start with the collection phone calls.
Adding a tax on employers and employees to make a made in Ontario pension plan?
What if the province goes bankrupt which economists say we are headed towards? Will we get the money in our pension savings or will that go to the creditors the way it does with companies that go bankrupt?
Why would companies invest in factories in Ont. when the energy rates are so high?
Why would young people stay here when there are no decent jobs to keep them.
The expression "go west young man" seems to be appropriate in this climate.
I hope when the debate is done the Liberals can come up with some reasonable answers to these questions.
We asked Mike but he side stepped them.
5/25/2014 5:12:41 PM
TheFloyd says:
Invest in Ontario and put people to work. People pay taxes. Deficit reduction happens.

Under PC logic, cuts happen and tax rates are reduced. Less money to pay down deficit, less people employed, less services for Ontarians.
5/25/2014 6:39:30 PM
yqtyqt says:
"Invest in Ontario and put people to work. People pay taxes. Deficit reduction happens".

We've been following this liberal blueprint for 11 years. The Libs says they have been investing in Ontario. I'll save the comments about handing out corporate welfare to their liberal friends for another day.

The Libs claim to have put people to work. But we know that the only people benefiting from that are government contractors and the newly bloated civil service & bureaucrats.

People have been paying more taxes, sky high hydro rates (lets no forget that they will go up shortly again due to the cancellation of the 10% rebate.) We have yet to begin to pay for the $1.1 billion gas plant purchase of Sousa's MPP re-election.

But here's the real problem. Deficit reduction hasn't happened. As a matter of fact we now owe more per capita than any other province. The libs have passed the debt to our children/grandchildren,

I would say the Lib blueprint hasn't worked for 11 years. Wouldn't you say?
5/26/2014 8:00:07 AM
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