Today the NDP voted for the Liberal budget that strips funding from Northern Ontario and has zero mention of the Ring of Fire. The NDP shockingly agreed with the Liberals to remove $70 million from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. This demonstrates that the NDP is not committed to jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.
“How can the NDP claim they are fighting for our city, when they voted for a Liberal budget that starves northern Ontario,” said PC candidate Ross Romano.
Noront Resources Inc. recently visited Sault Ste. Marie as part of their decision making process to determine the location of a new multi-million dollar smelter/processing plant. The Sault is a top contender for this significant investment due to its strategic location on the St. Lawrence Seaway, unlike the three other finalists.
Aside from the 500 construction jobs required to build the plant, a Noront investment in SSM would bring an additional estimate of 2000 direct and indirect jobs to our community.
During the all-candidate’s debate Tuesday night, as well as a CBC radio debate last week, Romano continually pressed the NDP candidate as to why the NDP leader, Andrea Horwath would not commit to a processing plant in Sault Ste. Marie or anywhere else in the region. The NDP candidate was unable or unwilling to answer. The NDP constantly talk about the concept of creating jobs in the Sault, yet Andrea Horwath refuses to give us a commitment to build a processing plant here in Sault Ste. Marie or anywhere else in the North.
It is the intention of Noront to formally announce the location of this major investment before the end of 2017 and with jobs being such a huge priority in our community, it is important that we provide Noront with all the supports necessary to bring their plant to Sault Ste. Marie. Today’s Liberal/NDP budget vote proves that the other parties are not serious about working with the mining sector to create jobs in Northern Ontario.
Patrick Brown, the Ontario PC leader was in the Sault with Ross a few weeks ago and pledged his support for a processing plant in the North. Brown indicated in a press conference that if elected in 2018 he would ensure that his first budget included all infrastructure funds necessary to make the Ring of Fire a reality.
Romano said, “I want that plant here and that will be my top priority. I have the support of the party leadership. It is a game changer for the future of our city. An investment by Noront in the Sault will be only the first step toward making the Sault a major hub for the development opportunities presented by the Ring of Fire. This entire region has the potential to be Ontario’s answer to the Alberta oil industry in terms of job growth and prosperity in the northern part of our province.”