The Dryden Observer

Your Source for Dryden News

On the Campaign Trail

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
The Fall Fair Parade, Aug. 27, was a good chance for candidates and supporters to strut their stuff through the streets of Dryden including the Liberal Party’s Bob Nault. Photos by Chris Marchand

Nault: Liberal government would make historic  infrastructure investment

Last week the Liberal Party announced that a Trudeau-led government will nearly double federal infrastructure investment to almost $125 billion – from the current $65 billion – over the next decade, a transfer growing to an additional $9.5 billion by year ten.

“A Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau will make historic new investments in infrastructure across the country, strengthening the middle class, creating jobs, and growing our economy,” said Bob Nault, Liberal candidate for the Kenora riding.

In the North that includes building all weather roads and grids to our First Nation communities. This will have a significant social and economic impact for the regions most vulnerable populations.

The Liberal Plan includes:

• Providing dedicated funding to invest in a broad range of projects, including: local water and wastewater facilities, climate resilient infrastructure, clean energy, and clean-up of contaminated sites to facilitate new construction.

• Providing new, dedicated funding for social infrastructure that prioritizes affordable housing and seniors facilities, early learning and child care, and cultural or recreational infrastructure.

• Funding the creation of thousands of new child care spaces, enhancing their quality, and ensuring that affordable child care spaces are available to more families who need them.

• Helping to build more housing units, refurbishing existing ones, renewing existing co-operative agreements, and providing funding support for municipalities.

The Fall Fair Parade, Aug. 27, was a good chance for candidates and supporters to strut their stuff through the streets of Dryden including the Conservative incumbent candidate Greg Rickford. Photo by Chris Marchand

 Rickford: rural broadband a priority

Last week incumbent Conservative candidate Greg Rickford welcomed Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement that a re-elected Conservative Government will continue to dramatically improve broadband connectivity in rural Canada.

“Our Conservative Government has made great strides in bringing high-speed internet into more rural and remote areas across Northwestern Ontario. I am pleased to announce that a re-elected Conservative Government will help create jobs and promote economic opportunities for Canadians by bridging the gap in high-speed internet infrastructure in rural and remote areas. This builds on the announcement I made in June to bring reliable high-speed internet to nearly 2,500 homes in the great Kenora riding,” said Rickford.

While Canada is one of the most connected nations in the world, some gaps in broadband access still exist, particularly in rural and remote areas of the country.

Our Government has already made significant progress to expand broadband access in rural communities. Between 2009 and 2012, the government helped finance projects to connect nearly 220,000 Canadians. The 2014 Economic Action Plan provided further funding which is poised to bring higher-speed internet to 356,000 households by 2017.

“Quite simply, there is probably no infrastructure more critical than the internet to ensuring the future prosperity of our vast country,” said Prime Minister Harper. “In today’s digital economy, access to the internet is essential to create jobs, realize economic opportunities and connect Canadians to online services.”

Harper announced that a re-elected Conservative government would set aside a further $200 million to support major new investments in fibre broadband infrastructure in rural and remote communities that currently lack high-speed internet.

“Canadians who live in rural areas expect and deserve the same quality of life and access to services,” said the Prime Minister. “By investing in rural broadband, we are not only improving the quality of life of rural Canadians, we are helping to fuel economic growth in rural areas.”

 

Hampton demands safe drinking water for Grassy Narrows

NDP Kenora riding candidate Howard Hampton directly blamed Conservatives for Grassy Narrows First Nations being forced to declare a state of emergency over unsafe drinking water last week. This state of emergency came as a result of Ontario Ministry of the Environment test that found problems with turbidity, elevated levels of uranium and possible carcinogens in the drinking water.

“It’s shameful that the community of Grassy Narrows has to endure these kinds of conditions,” stated Hampton. “Worse yet, we know the Conservatives have withheld more than $1 billion in spending for social services over the last 5 years. They could have fixed this problem – but they didn’t.”

According to the Public Accounts, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs lapsed a total of $712.9 million of funds approved by parliament in 2014. At the same time many Northern Ontario communities have lived without potable water for over ten years including the Neskantaga First Nation which has been under a boil water advisory since 1995.

“The Grassy Narrows state of emergency underscores the growing crisis of lack of access to safe and clean drinking water many First Nations communities live under,” added Hampton. “After decades of inaction and empty promises, an NDP government will usher in a new era of relations with Indigenous communities in Canada on a nation-to-nation basis. It’s time for the inaction to stop.”

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