MANITOULIN—The leader of the new Northern Ontario Party (NOP), Trevor Holliday, and a group of party executive were on a tour of Northern Ontario ridings that saw him drop by Manitoulin this past weekend—with stops at Low Island in Little Current and also in Mindemoya to meet, greet and recruit new members to the party that seeks to “begin the process” of creating a new province out of Ontario’s North.
“We are focussed on Northern issues that affect the longevity, wellbeing, economy manufacturing and future generations of Northern Ontario,” said Mr. Holliday. “With all the issues that are being overlooked by the Legislature of Ontario, our party feels that a different approach needs to be taken to ensure Northern Ontario is no longer treated as a colony.”
Mr. Holliday had the typical merchandise of a political party on hand, including hats, T-shirts and fridge magnets, but it was the party’s platform that he was hoping would resonate with people and encourage them to sign up for the NOP.
Although the response to his tour had been largely positive, Mr. Holliday admits that engaging folks on matters political on these hot sunny days reminiscent of early spring has been a bit of a challenge. A party pamphlet focusses attention on the dismal electoral participation, providing statistics and exhorting that “we are the party you have been waiting for.”
Among the platform planks of NOP is the creation of a standalone province out of Northern Ontario, “with the same rights and privileges as all other Canadian provinces,” but Mr. Holliday noted that the party is about a lot more than that ultimate goal.
The first nine of 37 items on the party’s platform focus on electricity prices and distribution. The platform advocates a single 24-hour a day price for electricity for residential service, the amalgamation of all of the province’s energy companies with a single energy board, cancellation of the electricity market in the province, reviewing all current contracts, encouraging people to live off the grid in remote communities, assisting Indigenous communities to produce and operate power in their communities and eliminating taxes and delivery charges on residential hydro.
The other 31 items on the platform list cover a wide range of issues, from health to transportation, in varying degrees of detail. The NOP platform can be found in detail on the party’s website at northernontarioparty.org/platform.html.