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Kathleen Wynne encourages ONTC, union to work on business plan

A spokesperson with the union representing Ontario Northland Transportation Commission workers says Thursday’s meeting in North Bay with the premier was "excellent".
During a meeting in North Bay on Wednesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne said she wants the union representing Ontario Northland workers and the company's management to sit down and develop a plan for the future.

A spokesperson with the union representing Ontario Northland Transportation Commission workers says Thursday’s meeting in North Bay with the premier was "excellent."

Brian Kelly said Premier Kathleen Wynne wants the head of the company and the union to develop a business plan for all operations of the ONTC. From there, the plan will be presented to the government for consideration.

"Our members are going to be happy that's there's finally going to hopefully be some resolution in some way shape or form that this is going to be over, and that somebody's actually working on a plan that isn't about tearing [the ONTC] apart,” said Kelly, a spokesperson with the General Chairperson's Association, which represents unionized employees at Ontario Northland.

“It's about keeping it all as one. So hopefully that's a positive."

Kelly added Wynne did not make any assurances the plan will be accepted, but he said it’s positive Wynne is changing the government's approach to the future of the ONTC.

"They're not making any promises that they'll accept it, but just the opportunity to put together a plan, we're quite confident that, between ourselves and the ONTC management, our plan will be the best plan,” Kelly said.

Kelly said there is no timeline to develop the plan and present it to the government, but he he's hoping to meet with the company as soon as possible.

'Good draft for restructuring'

Meanwhile, ONTC president and CEO Paul Goulet said he anticipates the process will take a matter of weeks — not months.

The company has already developed a report, he said.

"We've been waiting for the opportunity for [the union] to formally input that report. So the good news is, we're fairly well along what we believe is a good draft for structuring."

Goulet said he was not able to give many details of what is in the company's report, but added it includes a lot of change.

Those changes "would include [the] size, scale, [and] structure of the organization [and] how we go to market," he said.

"It's really, literally, everything. And that's part of the challenge of Ontario Northland. It literally hasn't changed for decades."

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