Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is defending her record. During her visit with mayors and councillors at the Northwestern Ontario Municipalities Association conference in Kenora, the premier tackled a number of long-standing, hot-button issues for the region.
First, Wynne spoke about the need for an inter-community busing service, for residents who have limited access to transportation options.
“We need to sort out how to have communities that aren’t connected, that there be an inter-community bus service. We need an expansion across the North West. There’s $5.6 million in the budget to expand that service. We’ll be rolling that out over the next few years."
While on the topic of transportation, Wynne transitioned into the rising cost of gas across northwestern Ontario. She says that it’s something that her government has been looking at closely.
“There’s no easy solution. I’d like to make sure that we have a watchdog on this. We’re looking at how to better monitor those prices.”
Wynne still didn’t stray far from the topic of transportation, moving into the long-running topic of twinning Highway 17. She says that it’s still a priority for her and her government.
“We still want to twin the highway. We have not moved back from that position. We want to get started. It is a priority for northwestern Ontario. My hope is that we start to twin the highway once Freedom Road is finished, which is still underway. It is still a priority for us.”
Finally, Wynne hoped to ease concerns about the lack of affordable housing, not only in the district, but across the country.
“We have a housing strategy in combination with the federal government. We’re working with municipalities to build more affordable housing, seniors housing, and more supports. There are a number of fronts that we are working on.”
A provincial election is set for June 7.