The Northern Ontario Liberal Platform will respond to long-standing calls from northern mayors for an immigration plan that draws new Canadians to northern Ontario cities and regions and ensures that the workforce Skilled labor corresponds to the jobs needed to build and develop the northern economy.
Our new Ontario Liberal team will be the partner Northern Ontarians deserve. We will develop essential services like health care and education, build essential infrastructure and create good jobs in the region.
Making Northern Ontario a place to grow up
✅ Bring in internationally trained professionals with the skills we need
“For Ontario to be a place of growth, the provincial government must have a say in making sure the nurses, engineers and heavy equipment operators we need and want to come to Canada are allowed to live in Northern Ontario. This is how we build the Ring of Fire, how we get nurses to provide care in the North, and how your populations will continue to grow.
—Steven Del Duca
Promoting the well-being and success of northern communities
- Ensuring access to a family doctor or nurse practitioner
- Get more health services in Northern Ontario
- Cover tuition for medical and nursing students working in the North
- Financing and equipping schools in the North
To ensure access to a family doctor or nurse practitioner within 24 hours, no matter where you live in Ontario, we will increase the number of community health centers and nurse practitioner-led clinics so that all communities have access to primary care. We will also cover tuition for all Ontario medical and nursing students who commit to long-term work in a rural or remote community – and we will raise the admission cap for the School of Medicine in Northern Ontario, by offering more tuition subsidies for students determined to stay in the North for the long term. We will also work to bring a midwifery program back to the North. Together, these measures will reduce wait times and the quality of care in the North.
We will review the Northern Health Travel Grant annually to ensure it keeps up with rising costs – and we will lift the arbitrary cap on new consumption and treatment service sites, which includes safe injection programs, expediting applications in rural and northern Ontario.
In education, we will examine the school funding formula from top to bottom to ensure it meets the needs of rural and northern students, parents and educators. We will invest in the sustainability of post-secondary institutions in the North, including Laurentian University, the University of Sudbury and Indigenous Institutes, and we will equip these institutions with digital teaching tools so that students who need to take assessments can do without traveling long distances.
Develop Internet access by 2025
- Achieve affordable high-speed internet access for all by 2025
- Generating more competition for internet service providers
The internet has become an essential commodity for people, especially during two years of physical distancing. We need to improve Internet access while reducing costs through greater competition – leveraging existing public fiber assets to expand small municipal or community networks. Expanding these and other networks, along with investing in low-Earth orbit satellites, will bring affordable high-speed Internet access to all Ontario households and businesses by 2025, including including First Nations reserves.
Building Northern Ontario
- Undo Ford Tory cuts to Northern projects
- Expand Ring of Fire
- Supporting a Growing Economy in Northern Ontario
- Offer northern municipalities a mining tax refund
We will update the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario and invest in the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) by reversing the Ford Conservative cuts and increasing annual funding to 150 millions of dollars. We will introduce representation thresholds for the NOHFC Board of Directors to ensure regional and diverse perspectives, providing opportunities to elect members and exert political influence by removing the Minister as a voting member.
We will also ensure that the Ring of Fire is developed in a sustainable, inclusive and environmentally responsible manner, by fully funding road access, facilitating the connection of First Nations communities to the provincial power grid and entering into agreements revenue sharing with indigenous communities. We will also support and empower northern municipalities by reimbursing them 5% of the provincial mining tax.
Finally, we are committed to relocating several government offices to Northern Ontario, extending the Crown Resource Duty exemption for resource-based tourism businesses through 2022, and working with partners to ensure the settlement of more skilled newcomers in Northern Ontario.
Make Traveling in Northern Ontario Easier
- Improve transportation options by making community transportation grants permanent for small and rural communities – working to close network gaps and improve connectivity
- Work with northern municipalities and Ontario Northland to improve bus connections between northern communities
- Restore service on Ontario’s Northlander from Toronto to North Bay within two years and plan for passenger rail travel further north, including extending the Polar Bear Express south to Timmins
- Implement a proven 2+1 freeway model to promote safe overtaking on major highways in Northern Ontario
- Complete four-laning of Highway 69 and Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon by 2025
- Advance the expansion of Highway 17 from Kenora to Manitoba and the reconstruction of Highway 101 in Timmins
- Proceed with the Cochrane Bypass from Highway 11 to Highway 652
- Ensure the highest level of winter maintenance standards to protect travelers on northern highways by designating Highways 11 and 17 as Class 1 highways so they are maintained and plowed more often
- To encourage safer winter driving, we will introduce a refundable tax credit of $75 per winter tire and $100 per studded tire in Northern Ontario
Take control of Ontario immigration and equip newcomers with the skills we need
- Putting Ontario back in charge of its immigration, like in Quebec
- Bring in internationally trained professionals with the skills we need
- Support newcomers who wish to become business owners
Ontario’s workforce desperately needs specific skills. For example, as we build 1.5 million new homes, as well as building and repairing dozens of new hospitals and schools, we need many more people in the skilled trades who can be those builders. Immigration to Ontario is currently a federal matter, but it is time for Ontario to take charge of its own immigration and control who we welcome to our province, just as Quebec has done. Ontario knows best what skills it needs, so Ontario should be in the driver’s seat. We will also ensure that a dedicated Minister of Immigration helps these newcomers work in their area of expertise and develops a new generation of entrepreneurs, including creating a pathway to permanent residency for international university graduates. and Ontario colleges that invest in or purchase business premises.