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Northern Growth Plan an insult: MPPs

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Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson and Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha charged last week that the Northern Growth Plan has failed to address the real needs of Northern Ontario.

The plan calls for the creation of “hubs” to promote development, but Sudbury and Thunder Bay are the only cities designated as such.

“The fact is that there is no money tied to the Northern Growth Plan,” said Bisson. “We’re not even sure what these two ‘hubs’ in Sudbury and Thunder Bay are meant to do.

“What money is being allocated to make these projects work?” he wondered.

“I’m not only concerned for the cities like Timmins and Sault Ste Marie that are left out, but I’m also concerned for Sudbury and Thunder Bay because without a clear vision and funds attached to it, these centres are not likely to succeed,” Bisson warned.

“The Northern Growth Plan is essentially a plan to make a plan that took seven years to come together and in the end produced nothing,” echoed Mantha.

“The government is refusing to deal with the real issues, like the infrastructure that is necessary to support the communities both on the physical side and the social infrastructure,” he added.

Both MPPs urged the government to pay real attention to Northern Ontario, and to create a meaningful plan for the north backed by appropriate resources.

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