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Committee of northern MPPs eyed

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Timiskaming-Cochrane NDP MPP John Vanthof will table a motion in the Ontario legislature on Monday calling for the creation of a new legislative committee that would be made up of northern MPPs.

“For too long, the Ontario legislature hasn’t responded to the issues and challenges facing the north,” said Vanthof.

This new standing committee would ensure that Northern Ontario MPPs have a say on decisions affecting the north,” he reasoned.

Under Vanthof’s proposal, MPPs from every northern riding would be a member of this new committee and would have the power to examine legislation that directly impacts Northern Ontario, investigate issues of importance to Northern Ontario, solicit input from citizens, and make recommendations to the legislature and government.

“Northerners feel that Queen’s Park does not listen to the issues that affect the north,” said Vanthof.

“This committee would give northerners a real voice in the decision-making at Queen’s Park,” he remarked.

Vanthof noted while the north’s natural resources are a key driver of Ontario’s economy, government decision-making often ignores the region.

That’s led to job losses, skyrocketing costs, less reliable health care in many communities, and the continued disregard for First Nations’ concerns.

“This Northern Ontario committee will put the needs of the north first,” Vanthof stressed. “A strong north could be the cornerstone of a better Ontario.”

The motion will be debated and voted upon tomorrow (March 1).

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