The leadership convention to choose Dalton McGuinty's successor is now only a few weeks away. With such a major shift in the Ontario Liberal Party, it is likely that some current policies will be revised. What does this mean for the ONTC? Two recent meetings suggest that there are two clear directions.
At a recent meeting of the North Eastern Ontario Municipal Association in Cochrane, there was concern that a new leader would simply mean the status quo, especially given the minority government and the NDP's original decision to abstain from the budget vote, a sharp criticism that MPP John Vanthof had to deflect during the meeting.
A more optimistic feeling followed a January 16th meeting between the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities and the Liberal leadership candidates. After the meeting, FONOM felt that the decision to divest the ONTC was by no means universally accepted and that issues affecting northern Ontario would be reviewed by the new leader.
Whichever view proves to be more accurate will be shown in time. Given the challenging economy and the pressures of government, there is a strong chance that the north will fall through the cracks again, but maybe the politicians will surprise us.