Tory MPP challenges minister’s version of government plans

To the Expositor:

I was quite surprised at Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle’s letter to the editor posted online by The Expositor October 2, 2013 (‘Minister responds to Vic Fedeli’s ‘unhelpful rhetoric’ on ONTC conversation,’ page 5).

When referring to the fire sale of Ontario Northland he states: “Let me be clear, this is not an option nor has it ever been a remotely accurate representation of our government’s approach to transforming the ONTC.” That’s just flat-out false.

At a meeting with then-Minister Bartolucci, I asked newly-appointed ONTC Board member Jonathan Weisstub, “What is your mandate?” The answer was “to divest or liquidate all assets of Ontario Northland.” That’s it. Period. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) also stated the same thing. So Minister Gravelle either didn’t read the MOU, or he’s trying to deceive Northerners yet again.

The Liberal instructions were clear. Their position only softened after I was successful in a vote to get the Auditor General to review their numbers. The minister’s tune only changed just days after I disclosed the Liberals’ own “Confidential Advice to Cabinet” in which the Finance Ministry disclosed there were new numbers should the ONTC be divested. No longer will it save $265 million as their 2012 budget stated; it would actually cost $790 million.

The Ontario PCs will do what the Liberals have not done: ensure Ontario Northland is recognized as the economic engine that opens up jobs and creates wealth.

In the meantime, I will continue to shine a light on the Liberals, because while they say one thing publicly, their own documents tell the truth.

Vic Fedeli, MPP

EDITOR’S NOTE: The attached graphic was supplied by Mr. Fedeli and was obtained through a Freedom of Information request through the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.