Ontario party leaders’ campaigns converge in North Bay for northern debate

NORTH BAY, Ont.- All four main Ontario party leaders are in North Bay today for a debate on issues that affect residents in northern Ontario.

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has been up north for several days, touting commitments he has made to restore northern passenger rail service, rebuild Highway 101 through Timmins and continue work to build road infrastructure to the Ring of Fire.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released her northern platform Monday, including promises to reimburse medical travel expenses more quickly, add more local health centres and “immediately” hire 300 doctors in the region.

The NDP traditionally have broad support in the north and held eight seats in the region at dissolution, with the incumbent Progressive Conservatives holding a few more and the Liberals hanging onto one.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says he will be releasing northern platform details today, while his full platform released Monday includes promises to cover tuition for any medical or nursing student who works long-term in a rural or remote community, expedite applications for Consumption and Treatment Services sites in northern Ontario and ensure high-speed internet for all, including First Nations communities, by 2025.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner is also set to participate in the debate.

The leaders are expected to be asked about regional issues including municipal revenue tools, addiction and mental health and highway maintenance and safety.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2022.


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