Before anyone living in Northern Ontario casts their vote in the provincial election tomorrow, one is compelled to review the record of the incumbent in terms of what he has done for the north and northerners.
Mike Harris is a northerner and thus should be aware of—and concerned about—northern issues. But as one reviews the Mike Harris record in the north, several disturbing things come to light.
Mike Harris did away with the special concession for northerners on the purchase of licence plates (one of the perks that helped to compensate for the high cost of living in the north). He also cancelled the spring bear hunt, an action that had a devastating impact on camp owners and outfitters in the north.
Harris has resisted pressure to increase the Northern Health Travel Grant so as to provide the same quality of health care in the north that southerners enjoy. Harris also has spent only 20 percent of the money promised to northern communities to attract doctors.
And by allowing universities to increase tuition fees, he dramatically increased the cost of education for northern students who must pay for higher tuition costs on top of their living costs.
The Harris government also has reduced the political representation in the north by 40 percent compared to a 10 percent reduction in the south to further limit the concerns of the north to be heard.
How does the record sound so far? Is this persuasive argument to convince one to re-elect Harris?
Frank Miclash has always been a strong advocate for the north. Dalton McGuinty’s platform deals with northern concerns. Could we expect him to do a better job for the north than Harris?
It is quite obvious anyone can do a better job than Mike Harris.
Fort Frances, Ont.