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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 3:19 pm 
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The NDP is considered to be mostly on the side of the environmental angels.

But because of its need to protect forest industry jobs in the north, it has been criticized for pledging electricity price cuts for the industry and, as it did early in the campaign, slamming the Liberals for announcing the province would buy paper products only from operations that meet the toughest environmental protection standard.


http://www.thestar.com/OntarioElection/article/261330

Much as I hate to say it, there isn't much alternative being offered here. Because Howard Hampton's riding is in the Thunderbay area, he actually advocates subsidizing the electricity needed by the mills that cut the boreal forest with money from all Ontarians. While voting Green may be a wasted vote, it may be the only vote possible for anyone committed to wilderness preservation. The softwood lumber dispute has caused more forest preservation in Ontario than anything in the last 50 years. Who would have thunk it. But it's a clear demonstration of how Green Party policies could work. I've giving them a look. Still don't know which way it's going though.

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 3:32 pm 
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I am voting Green.
It will at least be fresh bullshit .
I will give them a chance to deceive me like all the other parties have.

Promises.....promises......what a bunch of crap.
Do people actually believe that stuff?
Yes they do.................

If I was running...... I would promise nothing!
(I would never get elected.)

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 5:17 pm 
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I'll vote for ya, HeavyK, if ya promise me one of your cold cans of beer. :wink:

Or thinking Green as well.

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 6:42 pm 
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Lets just get several facts straight here right now. Howie is from Kenora-Rainy River Riding, not Thunder Bay - Superior, nor Thunder Bay - Atikokan.

NW Ontario proposed "energy cuts" are not a subsidy. We actually subsidize your huge nuclear power plant debt, and we are not even connected to your grid. We never had the blackout a few years ago in August that blacked out Ontario and the NE US. We are our own grid system and connected to the west.

NW Ontario is not only self-sufficient in electrical power generation, but we have a glut, and our power plants are shut down for much of the time. What the Liberal and NDP members up here have been asking for is Regional pricing, which reflects that actual price of energy generation and transmission here. We pay artificially high flat Ontario rates to subsidize the south. The Liberal members here have even spoken out against their party line. The Conservatives also want the flat rate so NW Ontario's can continue to pay your costs to subsidize you. In Howie’s riding, the Abitbi mill went under and is closed, throwing many people in the good town of Kenora out of work, even though the company had its own hydro generation facility. They had to pay inflated southern Ontario rates for their own power generation, and that contributed to driving them out of business. Did your news down south even cover that???? Did the news on your TV's and newspapers even cover MPP's in the legislature from NW Ontario, pleading for Regional Energy pricing?

The price of electricity to Ontario mills is the highest in the country. What's up with that? Several mills have gone under, throwing thousands of Northerners out of work, and it never needed to happen. If we paid the true costs of energy here in NW Ontario, it would be far less here. Then our businesses here would be competitive with the rest of the country. But instead, southerners are handcuffing us, forcing us to pay the southern Ontario flat rate, when we are not even connected to your grid!!!! Sure there are other global market forces hurting the forest industry right now, but the unreal price of energy in NW Ontario was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

*** paragraph edited by moderator - EK**** Someone living in NE Ontario (Timmins, e.g.) is connected to the southern Ontario grid, using power from those nuclear power plants, so perhaps one should be paying over there. But west of Wawa, we are our own power system, and we pay almost DOUBLE the cost of our own power to subsidize you. That’s simply not fair, and its highway robbery.

That's one of the many reasons why many in NW Ontario want to separate from Ontario and join Manitoba. Yet again more arrogance and ignorance demonstrated from southern Ontario. Sheesh! I spent most of my life in southern Ontario, and I know that there is a vast ignorance of northern issues there. Ya don’t know what goes on here. We (NW Ontario) only have 3 seats in the Legislature, and yet our ridings cover about 1/3 of the province's area, and we don't even count.

How about electoral reform to give us more representation, and then you'll see some progressive energy policy. I would bet you would agree that people should pay the price of power, and localized power costs to pay the true price of power is the way to go. If we had Regional Energy pricing in NW Ontario, many industries would flock here to set up shop, we could stop our out-migration of youth and skilled workers, and we could flourish. But instead you are penalizing and parasitizing us with your regressive, stupid energy pricing policies. We don't want or need your nuclear power plants. You pay for them and leave us alone. We are doing fine thank you.

And what's the Conservative and Liberal Policy for energy transmission in this election? They want to connect us to the southern grid now, so they can suck our power, and stick us with the price of their debt. (And no I am not an NDP supporter either – I am non-political).

***paragraph deleted by moderator - EK***

BTW, I know its hard to get facts down in southern Ontario. Your media does not cover it well, and the info on various enviro websites is often way way off. Government or political websites are also often woefully inadequate sources of info. Your best source of info might be the NW Municipal associations. Just today on CBC Mayor Michael Power, who speaks for the association here, spoke eloquently and knowledgably about regional issues on CBC Radio 1. Sadly you won't get that radio feed down in southern Ontario. I don't have a website for you, but I'll see what I can find.


Last edited by HOOP_ on October 4th, 2007, 10:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 7:08 pm 
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HOOP_

I did not know all that.
Thank you.

I definatley see your point.

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 8:09 pm 
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As usual, nothing is as cut-and-dried or simple as we might think.

Thanks for the info Hoop. Never knew.

Dave

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 8:45 pm 
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I am assuming since this thread is still unlocked, the mods have decided that was civil debate. Well they may have, but the level vitriol behind the personal attacks is unjustified.

Apart from to acknowledge that there are pockets of Ontario, like the area around Niagara falls, that have access to extremely cheap power, who would definitely benefit from breaking down the gird into cheap and expensive power, I'd say fine. lets also break the province down into cheap and efficient and expensive health care etc. because the transport costs involved. All those air ambulance flights from the north to the south can't be cheap, and while were at it, lets get rid of all that connecting road structure. Why should Southern Ontarians be paying for miles and miles of roads they never drive on. 75% of the people I met in the Toronto are had never been to North Bay, they've been to Orillia for Casino Rama.

And if you thing those Manitobans with all the flat land are going to be happy about paying the road constrution costs in Northern Ontario, you might want to think again.

The separation argument for Northern Ontario is essentially the same as it is for Quebec. They want to take advantage of the things that are cheap there, while the people of Ontario pay for everything they pay for now. Good plan. Except as the people of QUebec found out in the last referendum campaign, as soon as serious talk of separation started, Ontarians started looking at the Eastern townships, Northern Quebec and other places that weren't part of Canada, and saying, hey, those ours, they were never part of the original land occupied by Quebec.

When I lived in WIndsor I used to do relief work in Royal Oak township. It was an area of 8 or so square blocks, with a lot of low income people, that had almost no services, because none of the surrounding areas would amalgamate with it. SO the poor people there had no county structure there to appeal to for aid. I saw living conditions there equivalent to any third world country. Houses with no running water. A cheap oil space heater in one room of a 5 room house. People heating with coal space heaters. WIndows and doors in extremely poor repair. All caused by the arranging of political boundaries on the basis of economic wealth.

I would suggest politcal isolation is goal of those who would like to have the right to exploit every last one of the resources in the area. And the crazy thing is, they don't realize, the money that comes from resource exploitation, for the most part doesn't stay within the communities. Look at all the companies that made millions in northern Ontario and the minute the resources were gone, their towns became ghost towns.

Isolationists would create enclaves of cheap energy communities and ghetto's of expensive energy usage. SO to be fair, lets have each town pay for it's share of the trans Canada highway, from their place to the next town that can afford to pay. IN southern Ontario, a lot of towns would be paying for less than 15 feet of road. In northern Ontario, millions in road upkeep. Southern Ontario doesn't need Northern Ontario, a whole lot either. Most of our commerce comes from being integrated with Michigan, Ohio and New York. If Southern Ontario would just break off and join with those states, our lives would be better. SO the argument works both ways.


***paragraph edited by moderator - EK***
If someone was going to make the case for Ontario ripping off Northern Ontario, it's going to have to be made on a much larger scale than just Hydro prices.

***paragraph edited by moderator - EK***
I cannot agree with the northern dream of endless resource extraction and isolation when one lives in a community that depends on endless product from other jurisdictions for every thing they use. Be it the vehicles they drive, the food they eat, the machinery they use. The people of Ontario through the road and transport systems subsidize all of that.

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Last edited by normhead on October 4th, 2007, 9:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 8:58 pm 
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Norm

I see your point too.

Interesting................

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2007, 9:49 pm 
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Ya Heavy..it's actually a complex issue, and I've argued the northern point of view when talking to southerners before too. It's always sad to see people from one part of the Province that do not appreciate the complexity of these kinds of issues, and try and break an issue down into some kind of price comparison on isolated points. There's always a big picture.

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PostPosted: October 5th, 2007, 8:35 am 
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Erhard is right guys lets keep it from getting personal and stick to the issues.

Hoop, the resources in Ontario belong to all citizens of the province and not just to those living in a particular region. I think that Norm has tried to make this point.
As to Southern Ontarians not being informed about what goes on up there, I think that cuts both ways. Very little of the general population actually takes the time to become informed about issues within the province. The opportunity is there to become informed and the discussion about lower power costs in NW Ontario was indeed covered well in the Southern Ontario press when McGuinty announced an equalized cost structure for the entire Province.People in NW Ontario were very upset when that was announced and their reasons and opinions were well represented in the press at the time.However, I think that the rivers and lakes throughout the province are owned by all of the citizens and we all have a share of the benefit that we can obtain by harnessing power from them. Collectively we all contributed to paying for the dams that were constructed giving up the use of those rivers for other purposes.Various corporations in NW Ontario were allowed to construct dams on rivers that our previous governments gave them permission to use for various periods of time and no doubt that helped those companies grow and prosper ... but nothing stay the same forever..

Collectively, we the citizens of the province own the government, the universities, colleges, medical schools, the health care system, the roads, the schools, etc. etc. Collectively as citizens of Canada we own the Federal institutions as well.... the EI system the CPP, the military, etc. etc.and we all share in the benefits and the costs of running those systems.

As Norm points out, none of us in isolation could afford all of that stuff.

Having an equalized power cost across the Province may be one of the factors that has caused many mills in NW Ontario to close down in the past few years, but it is only one of many factors. Remember, nothing stays the same forever. Northern Ontario has had a really good run at forest resource extraction and conversion for the past 150 years... but there are many new players coming on from South America and SE Asia. That competitive pressure in the market place has newer more efficient mills, faster growing trees, lower labour costs etc.
When we allow regional animosities to control the debate we can very quickly get into divisive arguments.
It would be better if we could collectively try to figure out how best to help our fellow citizens in NW Ontario rebuild their economies. I think that discussion would be more productive.

Ed MacPherson


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PostPosted: October 5th, 2007, 9:04 am 
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Mac wrote:

However, I think that the rivers and lakes throughout the province are owned by all of the citizens and we all have a share of the benefit that we can obtain by harnessing power from them.

*snip*

Having an equalized power cost across the Province may be one of the factors that has caused many mills in NW Ontario to close down in the past few years, but it is only one of many factors. Remember, nothing stays the same forever. Northern Ontario has had a really good run at forest resource extraction and conversion for the past 150 years... but there are many new players coming on from South America and SE Asia. That competitive pressure in the market place has newer more efficient mills, faster growing trees, lower labour costs etc.

Ed MacPherson


Living in different areas have different advantages. Certainly a loaf of bread costs less in the Toronto area than in a northern community. Do folks in Toronto want to subsidize the fuel costs for trucks so that people in the north don't have to pay more for a loaf of bread than them? Didn't think so. Then why should people in the north, with the dams in THEIR districts, not have cheaper electricity? Doesn't sound fair to me, sounds like Toronto has the voting #'s, and the north is being taken advantage of. Shame.

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PostPosted: October 5th, 2007, 11:38 am 
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Temporaily locked. I would like to hear back from Hoop and Norm.

*** OK, thread unlocked, after some changes were made above. Thanks guys! ***


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PostPosted: October 6th, 2007, 7:31 am 
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GWA wrote:

Quote:
Do folks in Toronto want to subsidize the fuel costs for trucks so that people in the north don't have to pay more for a loaf of bread than them? Didn't think so.


GWA:
Did you notice that the price of beer is the same wherever you travel in this Province? I wonder why that is the case?

Also, I should note the price of bread and most other items I purchased in TB this summer were very similar in cost to what I pay in Guelph.
The price of basic food items in Armstrong was a different matter. They were very expensive there.

Geraldton food pricing was also not much different than in Guelph. They have a relatively new and very large food store, that was well stocked. Guelph prices for basic food items are less than in Toronto.

I think the biggest difference in northern and southern prices is housing costs.
While in Geraldton, shopping for some food items we were speaking to the cashier and my daughter, who lives in Toronto, was lamenting the fact the housing is very expensive down there but in Geraldton she could probably afford to buy a home, based on the prices in the local Real Estate paper. The cashier responded by telling us, that is one of the reasons that keeps northerners from moving south...... But I doubt that most northerners want to move south. I think they have a pretty good lifestyle living up there.


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PostPosted: October 6th, 2007, 8:37 am 
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Ed I respectfully disagree with you.

Houses cost Waaaay less.
Insurance cost the same
There are no doctors to be found
Fuels is about 20 cents/litre more and many many things are a long drive up there. To make a 3 hour drive to from Armstrong to buy(insert so mnay items here) is not unusual.
I found the cost of groceries to be similar, fresh produce seemed more expensive.

So houses are cheap and fuel is more and everything else is about the same.

How about wages? Forget it. If you don't work at the mill or the public sector your wages are severly depressed. Jobs are few and far between in the north and I would be very interested to see what the unemployment rate is.

Maybe the reason food is the same in the north as it is in the south is because the wages make up the difference. What would pay 12-15/hour in GTA pays minimum wage in Thunder Bay. I was offered a job in Thunder Bay that would pay me 3 times that in GTA.

The houses that are for sale up there are selling for cheaper than it would cost to build them. So I guess the home construction industry is not making any money. Realtors in GTA sell 2 houses a month at $300,000, that same realtor sells 2 house at $75,000 in Thunder Bay or 2 houses at $35,000 in Geraldton, what kind of commision is he/she making?

Spending time up there looking at the north from a point of view other than visiting really opened my eyes. The people who vacation up there are are Americans or folks from Southern Ontario. Thos ewho live up there can't seem to afford those vacations.

The downtown core of TBay and Kenora (2 of the major cities of NW Ontario) have many stores on the main drag boarded up.

Lifestyle is better? I suppose in some ways but I think it is a much more modest lifestyle in many cases.


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PostPosted: October 6th, 2007, 9:25 am 
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Rob, your comments are inaccurate.

I have been pricing stuff in Armstrong for 20 years now and due to land lease and various ecological controls a house is just about impossible to buy. Look at the old restaurant on King St. Jody has been trying to unload that for two years.

Ed has spent many many summers in Armstrong. If you were able to talk to as many locals as we have, you would find groceries are expensive, particularly the basics like milk and eggs and bread and cheese. I do alot of last minute shopping at J and J s ( I am there for nearly five weeks a year) and know what to avoid. Folks there have the once a month trip to TB to stock up on basics and the lists are awesome.

Fuel did you notice was only 7 c more a liter in Armstrong than TB. It does not come by train, but is trucked in. The real kicker is the diff between S On and TB and my god never buy in White River.

Back in the 60s before incorporation, Port Arthur was a thriving town. Ft, William having more dock facilities less so. Now both have given way to the Intercity area which used to be nothing...now its mega malls..Just like any other metro area and not necessarily indicative of a economic climate.

I think were you to talk to some FN people you would be surprised where they have travelled to. They do not wear their wealth on their sleeve or their house.


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