Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) will be welcoming Premier Kathleen Wynne to their meeting in Parry Sound next week and will be taking the opportunity to seek a commitment from the Wynne Government to halt the divestment of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.
The Government has established an ONTC Advisory Committee involving northern municipal leaders, but there has been little progress between parties over the last two months. The Wynne Government’s Budget included a commitment to ensuring ‘viable, efficient and sustainable transportation and communication systems.’
“In the opinion of the north, the only viable, efficient and sustainable transportation system is one that is publicly owned and operated. We will be asking that the Premier commit to ending the divestment of ONTC to ensure the north maintains its economic viability,” said Mayor Al Spacek, President of FONOM.
The Government’s decision to divest ONTC will privatize passenger and freight transportation in the North as well as Ontera communications.
“We want to have a constructive discussion with the Government about what ONTC and Ontera mean for the north, but we need to make sure that the Premier is listening,” said Spacek. “This isn’t just about dollars and cents; these services mean a lot more to people in the north. The Premier has said she wants to listen to the people. Well, the people are speaking, and now it’s time for action.”
The Premier will be meeting with Mayors from FONOM’s member municipalities and discussing the divestment of ONTC and Ontera, as well as changes to overnight camping rules in provincial parks, and other issues of importance to the north.