Harinder Takhar wants to introduce Hollywood and Bollywood to the North.
The Ontario Liberal leadership candidate has laid out a 100-day document detailing his prosperity plan for the province, and while job creation and youth employment opportunities remained high on the list Takhar also wanted to take advantage of Northern Ontario’s natural landscape for moviemakers around the world.
“Every time that I see Hollywood or Bollywood films that go to Toronto I say to them ‘have you gone to the North,’” he said. “If they don’t want to come, we need to bring them here and showcase them what the beauty looks like. About 90 per cent of Ontario’s landmass is up North.”
Other plans Takhar has for the North include four-laning Highway 69 and privatizing Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.
He also he can help resuscitate the North’s struggling forestry sector.
“I honestly believe the forestry industry can get out of its slump,” he said. “We need to move away from our traditional manufacturing of logs. We need to get into the engineered products and custom-made products. The Terrace Bay mill right now is dissolving pulp. They are going to ship that from here to be made into fabric. To me, that is the transformation of the forestry industry.”
Takhar said the $14-billion deficit and job creration are the two biggest issues facing the province at the moment. Since the recession, the global economy hasn’t fully recovered and many, especially youth, are having trouble finding jobs.
The secret to providing those jobs is laid out in his 100-day plan, he said.
The seven-point plan promises to eliminate the deficit a year early, the formation of the Ontario Small Business Development Corporation and training opportunities including internship programs and giving a 30 per cent tax credit to small business if they sponsor a student.
The Ontario Liberal Leadership convention is scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29 in Toronto.