The year 2013 was a busy one for politicians at every level of government, and it appears some northern MPPs are expecting to see change in the new year, possibly in the form of an election.
Sudbury Liberal MPP Rick Bartolucci has already announced he won’t be running in the next provincial election, which he thinks could happen in 2014.
Looking back, Bartolucci said one highlight from 2013 was Kathleen Wynne winning the leadership race to be Ontario’s premier.
“She’s done a remarkable job,” he said.
“A very, very important job was assigned to her with winning that leadership and that was to try and make government work.”
But not all opposition MPPs agree there’s been collaboration.
Timiskaming-Cochrane New Democrat MPP John Vanthof said he feels northerners don’t have input when it comes to decisions about this region.
“We know that tough decisions have to be made,” he said.
“But they should be made on actualities and realities and not just on what some bean counter in Queen’s Park thinks.”
Nipissing Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli said he thinks several major projects that would benefit their region were sidelined in 2013, including Ontario Northland and the Ring of Fire.
He said he believes going to the polls could change the future of these projects.
“I really want to see a turn-around,” he said.
“This has to be our turn-around year and I think the way to do it to have an election.”
Looking ahead to 2014
There are projects on Bartolucci's wish list for the new year.
“One of them being the Maley Drive extension,” he said. “I think that is really important for our continued prosperity.”
Fedeli said he’d like to see a clear plan on the future of Ontario Northland.
“So I think the premier should come out very quickly and say the divestment is off,” he said.
The provincial government has said in recent weeks it wants to transform Ontario Northland, instead of divesting itself of the asset.
It’s not clear what that transformation will look like.