Dr. Eric Hoskins, MPP, St. Paul's
Mr. Gerard Kennedy, MP, Parkdale-High Park
Mr. Glen Murray, MPP, Toronto Centre
Ms. Sandra Pupatello
Mr. Charles Sousa, MPP, Mississauga South
Ms. Kathleen Wynne, MPP, Don Valley West
NORTH BAY, ON, Nov. 15, 2012 /CNW/ -
We are writing you to make you aware of our plan to revitalize the
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) and create
significant new job and economic opportunities in Ontario's North.
Our initiative, called the New Deal for Northern Ontario, will save
existing transportation and communication services and hundreds of jobs
in the North, while also creating thousands more jobs by providing rail
access to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits. The plan, which includes
the development of other competitive infrastructure components into the
Ring of Fire region, will deliver significant benefits to First
Nations, the region and the mining and related industries.
The New Deal calls for transferring ownership of the railroad and other
assets of the provincially-held ONTC to a new ports authority to be
operated under the Canada Marine Act. This will ensure that important infrastructure assets are kept in
public hands for the benefit of all stakeholders. The first step in
this process was recently completed with the creation of The James Bay
& Lowlands Ports Trustee Corporation. The new Ports Authority will be
led by Roy Hains, who successfully ran ONTC for several years and
developed strategies to make Ontario Northland strong and sustainable.
The ONTC has played a significant role in transportation and economic
development in Northeastern Ontario for more than a century. Ontario
Northland today employs more than 950 workers in the region and has an
estimated annual economic impact of almost $210 million in Northeastern
Our plan will secure these economic benefits by strengthening ONTC's
operations to ensure that they are economically sustainable. It will
also deliver, with the new Ring of Fire rail line, by far the most
economic and environmentally friendly solution to ship thousands of
tons per day of chromite, nickel and other minerals and finished
products to markets around the world.
We are confident that this is the best approach going forward for
ONTC, and to drive job creation and economic development in Ontario's
North while also fulfilling the provincial government's policy
objectives and commitments for both the North and First Nations.
The New Deal has the unanimous support of ONTC's workforce. Other
stakeholders actively supporting the plan include First Nations
communities, Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Jay Aspin, Northern Ontario
communities, and mining and other business interests.
Recently, we met with Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick
Bartolucci to outline our proposal. We look forward to continuing
discussions with him and officials with MNDM, Infrastructure Ontario
and the ONTC.
As the New Deal is an "all in" plan to acquire and make viable all of
the ongoing assets of the ONTC, we require information on all of its
business lines simultaneously. After we have obtained that information,
we will move quickly to submit a proposal outlining our business case.
The current divestment process for ONTC is to place each business unit
on the market individually. We are concerned that this places us at a
disadvantage to proponents who are now actively engaged in the RFQ for
Ontera or will in the coming weeks, be framing their proposals along
individual business lines. As the New deal does not fit with
unit-by-unit bidding, we are seeking a level playing field that
accommodates our "all-in" approach.
We assure you that such an accommodation would not slow down the
government's divestment of ONTC. Our intention is to work in parallel
with the existing process. Given that the government's plan calls for
the divestiture of all ONTC assets, in effect we are asking for neither
more nor less information than will be required by other proponents
submitting proposals on individual business lines.
The key elements needed to make the New Deal for Northern Ontario a
success are either already in place or are well underway. We are
confident that we can ably demonstrate, as expressed by Minister
Bartolucci, "the technical and financial wherewithal to successfully
own and operate the ONTC business lines and otherwise meet IO's
We would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you in the next few
weeks to outline our plan and its many benefits in more detail. In the
meantime, if you have any questions about the New Deal, do not hesitate
to contact us.
Representative, General Chairperson's Association
E: email@example.com M: 416-567-8281
CEO, The James Bay & Lowlands Ports Trustee Corporation
SOURCE: General Chairperson's Association (GCA)