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Liberal Budget Good and Bad for Timmins

The Timmins Chamber of Commerce has concerns about the liberal budget, but says there are areas of significance. Investments into the ring of fire, which are mining projects in the North, and transportation for areas outside of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area will affect the Timmins region.

Phil Barton, President of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, says that there are obviously big ticket items related to enhancing mining in the north which is badly needed, but there are a number of other significant additions, like the enhancement of bus and rail for the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. A potential $1 billion investment into the Ring of Fire, and $13.9 billion for transportation are among the additions that will benefit the North.

Areas of concern include a lack of long term solutions for energy and Northern infrastructure. The cost of energy is expected to rise in the coming years, and the budget doesn’t account for that. The budget is also not addressing the failure to reinstate the Connecting Link program, which helped to fund up to 90% of construction and maintenance of provincial highways. The 2013 cancellation of the program has left Timmins struggling to maintain this infrastructure.

Barton says there there are strong concerns about what the budget specifically fails to address, and is hoping that the province will work with businesses and the affected communities to find sustainable and competitive solutions.

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