Ontario Ministers Visit Timmins to Celebrate Industry and Initiatives 
The Government of Ontario reaffirmed its commitment to Timmins and Northern Ontario earlier this week with a series of visits and funding announcements. It gave Mayor George Pirie the opportunity to meet with Minister Caroline Mulroney and Minister Greg Rickford with the goal of advancing Timmins’ future planning of infrastructure and economic development.

In his Monday meeting with Minister Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs, the discussion included future upgrades to the Connecting Link and roads previously uploaded to the City. Talk also turned to the province’s proposed passenger rail service and the importance of designating Timmins as the system’s hub; as well as, the necessary construction of 60 miles of rail between Timmins and Foleyet, a project that would connect Timmins directly to the Ring of Fire.

“We had fruitful conversations on every aspect of the portfolios Minister Mulroney holds,” said Mayor Pirie. “The Ontario Government has supported the necessary repairs to our Connecting Link, but there is more work to do. I spoke of the need for a large vehicle bypass, which is necessary to avoid constant maintenance on our roads, particularly the Algonquin Blvd. corridor.

“We also spoke about cultivating zones of economic cooperation between northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec. Regional partnerships are necessary in the development of a port or trade though the James Bay coast, which would further solidify Timmins as a global hub of industry.”

In his meeting with Mayor Pire on Wednesday, Minister Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry, restated the Province’s commitment to develop fully the potential of Northern Ontario.

“We have an economic opportunity because of our region’s resources,” adds Mayor Pirie. “We have the raw materials needed for the production of everything from catalytic converters to electric vehicles. Currently, many of our resources are shipped globally as part of the production process to countries like Germany and China. Minister Rickford understands that the final goods can and should be produced right here in Timmins and Northern Ontario.”

Minister Rickford, who also serves as Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs, made a point of visiting with evacuees from Pikangikum and connected with the team behind the recently funded Fire Keeper Patrol Program. Earlier this year, the Ontario Government contributed $1.3 million to support the service coordinated by Mushkegowuk Council in partnership with the City of Timmins, Wabun Tribal Council, Porcupine Health Unit, and more. The Fire Keeper Program will provide 24/7 service to homeless people suffering from addiction.

“Minister Rickford is fully engaged in the success of the program and understands the significance and importance of it being Indigenous led,” said Mayor Pirie. “This is an exciting initiative for Timmins and I’m thrilled that it has been acknowledged through funding by the Province of Ontario and personally by Minister Rickford.”
Posted by Amanda Dyer On 7/22/2021 at 1:28 PM  

 
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