Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,719,120 articles and books

The Northern Ontario Party?

The decline of the regional economy of northwestern Ontario Northwestern Ontario is the region within the Canadian province of Ontario which lies north and west of Lake Superior, and west of Hudson Bay and James Bay. It includes most of subarctic Ontario. , its shrinking population and the lack of satisfaction from government in addressing regional concerns has rekindled the issue of separation from Ontario. There are periodic calls for the North's separation from Ontario, but they are rarely from mainstream politicians, despite the grievance that taxation and spending policies made in Toronto do not address Northern Ontario Northern Ontario is the part of the province of Ontario which lies north of Lake Huron (including Georgian Bay), the French River and Lake Nipissing.

Northern Ontario has a land area of 802,000 km² (310,000 mi²) and constitutes 87% of the land area of Ontario, although it
 interests. In many respects, the region's political leadership has been timid because it is part of an established system of centralized cen·tral·ize  
v. cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing, cen·tral·iz·es
1. To draw into or toward a center; consolidate.

 governance from the south that depends on Queen's Park There are a number of places in the world called Queen's Park or Queens Park. Australia
  • Queens Park, New South Wales
  • Queens Park, Victoria
  • Queens Park, Western Australia
  • Queens Park railway station, Perth
  • Queens Park, Mackay
 for favour.

A classic example is the current forest sector crisis.

Over the summer, hundreds of jobs have been lost in the energy-intensive forest industry due to the high cost of electricity. While the North's core economic problems are market driven, they have been aggravated ag·gra·vate  
tr.v. ag·gra·vat·ed, ag·gra·vat·ing, ag·gra·vates
1. To make worse or more troublesome.

2. To rouse to exasperation or anger; provoke. See Synonyms at annoy.
 by provincial government policies on electricity and resources.

Given the opportunity to meet Ontario's premier in Toronto and give him a very public "earful ear·ful  
1. An abundant or excessive amount of something heard, such as talk or music.

2. Gossip, especially of an intimate or scandalous nature.

3. A scolding or reprimand.
" before the southern Ontario media, the region's leaders backed down and remained content to again meekly accept that help was "on the way."

Over the last 15 years, with three different political parties in power at Queen's Park, Northern alienation and economic decline have continued. As a result, the nature of the institutions governing Northern Ontario must be called into question. Perhaps it is time to ask why Northern Ontario is part of a province that appears unable to deal with its socio-economic problems?

Ontario is a province experiencing short-falls in energy supply, rising energy costs, anemic anemic

pertaining to anemia.
 income growth and deteriorating urban infrastructure. It may be that southern elites see jettisoning the burden of its "declining" North by allowing the region to wither away to park status as a way to deal with their problems.

Indeed, Queen's Park is more preoccupied with Toronto and its own desires for greater autonomy.

Separatism is no longer a fringe movement in Northern Ontario, when Toronto can boast its own bush-league separatist "Province of Toronto The term Province of Toronto has two senses: one political, the other ecclesiastical. Proposed province of Canada
Some politicians and urban affairs commentators have proposed that the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada secede from the province of Ontario to become the
" movement that if ultimately successful, would turn the morning commute from Oakville into inter-provincial migration. Why expect Queen's Park to deal with its North when they are busy planning to grant special powers to Toronto - a city that is already "special" given it is Canada's largest city, the financial capital of the country and governing capital of Ontario.

Why should only Toronto "exercise broad permissive permissive adj. 1) referring to any act which is allowed by court order, legal procedure, or agreement. 2) tolerant or allowing of others' behavior, suggesting contrary to others' standards.

 governmental powers within its jurisdiction, subject only to specific exceptions in the provincial interest?" If Toronto can be granted special status in Ontario because the city government does not have the power that its citizens believe it needs to make the changes that Torontonians want, why can't Northern Ontario be granted the institutional tools that might help foster its economic development? Why should the North remain fiscally and politically dependent on a province that is not terribly interested in it? If Nunavut can be granted territorial government and told that some day it might be a province, why cannot the federal government join Ontario in creating new institutions for Northern Ontario?

How about the rest of Ontario? Creating what amounts to regional government for Toronto without creating regional governments in the rest of the province is asymmetrical federalism Asymmetrical federalism is a constitutional structure under which some of the constituent units (such as states or provinces) within a federal system have more extensive powers than others relative to the central government.  at its worst.

Political imbalance brewing

The political imbalance that is about to be unleashed by giving Toronto special The Toronto Special is a free city life newsmagazine in Toronto, Canada, that focuses on Canadian celebrity, politics, products and ideas, fashion and current trends. It was first published in 2002.  powers for itself while its residents dominate the provincial civil service and the levers of government is a serious concern for all Ontario.

The prospect of Torontonians having one set of rules for themselves and enforcing another set for the rest of the province should set the alarm bells ringing in Hamilton, Windsor, London and Ottawa.

If Northern Ontario wants a better deal, its residents must organize lobbying associations and political action groups separate from the established political parties rather than simply gripe gripe
To have sharp pains in the bowels.

1. gripes Sharp, spasmodic pains in the bowels.

2. A firm hold; a grasp.

Borrowing from Dave Robinson's recent Joseph and the Pharaoh analogy, any advisor to the MNDM MNDM Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (Ontario)  should also add that the province "should let my people go" on to develop new institutions to manage their own affairs. Rather than wailing that the North should separate and join Manitoba or Minnesota or Nunavut, a more constructive course of action would be to form a Northern political party, whose role would be to simply advocate and lobby on behalf of its region's citizens rather than separate.

Creating a Northern Ontario Region Party with the mandate of getting a better deal for the north would send a powerful message that the North is organized and is prepared to articulate its interests when it comes to energy costs, resource development, transportation and health care. Having a core of Northern Party members elected as MPPs continually raising Northern issues would create a regional political debate that has been lacking in Ontario with its increasing Toronto-centric issues and debates.

Such a debate can result in the creation of a set of regional governments in Ontario to which functions can be devolved from Queen's Park. A stronger voice for the North can ultimately mean a stronger voice for the rest of Ontario, too.

Company                                # of Empl.  Sector

Bowater Canadian Forest Products Inc.  1.550       Forestry/Products

Bombardier Transportation              800         Manufacturing

Buchanan Group                         1040        Forestry/Products

Wal-Mart Canada Inc.                   500         Retail

Abitibi Consolidated                   370         Forestry/Products

Canadian Pacific                       350         Transportation

YA Canada                              350         Call Centre

Wasaya Airways                         300         Transportation

By Livio Di Matteo

Special to Northern Ontario Business Northern Ontario Business is a Canadian magazine, which publishes monthly in Greater Sudbury, Ontario. The magazine covers business news and issues in Northern Ontario.

Livio Di Matteo is a professor and chair of the economics department of Lakehead University Lakehead University, at Thunder Bay, Ont., Canada; founded 1946 as Lakehead Technical Institute. It achieved university status in 1965. Lakehead has faculties of arts and science, business, education, engineering, forestry, library and information studies, nursing, . He can be reached via e-mail at
COPYRIGHT 2005 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Matteo, Livio Di
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Dec 1, 2005
Previous Article:New women's conference focuses on leadership.
Next Article:A new hope in Atikokan.

Related Articles
Northwest hopes to grow bonds: Grow Bonds hailed as solution to lack of venture capital.
MNDM politically irrelevant.
The who's who in smart growth.
Does the North need more drunken parties?
Crown Bartolucci king of the North.
North should exorcise the resource curse.
Mayors to converge on Sault during NOBA.
CFDCs bolster job growth.
Consider the 2.3 per cent levy solution.
A Grit-Tory coalition? Only in Gorffwysfa.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters