A northern-based task force will be focusing on transportation needs and opportunities in the region.
Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, announced the Northern Task Force, saying the group of community-based leaders will examine ways to make it easier for people and goods to travel, all while boosting economic growth in the North.
“Our government understands that Northern Ontario has unique transportation needs that can make travelling between local communities more challenging for people. And we continue to take action to alleviate these challenges and make travel safer,” says Mulroney. “The Northern Task Force will ensure transportation plans reflect the diverse voices within the community and inform our government of the most important local needs.”
“I am pleased and honoured that Minister Mulroney has asked me to Co-Chair this task force with NOMA President Wendy Landry,” said Danny Whalen, Co-Chair of the Northern Task Force and President of FONOM. “The Minister has heard the concerns of northerners with regards to transportation needs and the safety of our northern highways. The quality of the people appointed to this Transportation Task Force ensure reasonable and responsible results.”
Task force members include:
Danny Whalen (Co-Chair): President, Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) and Councillor, City of Temiskaming Shores
Wendy Landry (Co-Chair): President, Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and Mayor, Municipality of Shuniah
Mayor Brian Bigger: Mayor of Greater Sudbury
Mayor Daniel Reynard: Mayor of Kenora
Mayor Dave Plourde: Mayor of Kapuskasing
Mayor Doug Lawrance: Mayor of Sioux Lookout
Mayor Johanne Baril: Mayor of the Municipality of Val Rita-Harty and President of NorthEastern Ontario Municipal Association
Grand Chief Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh: Grand Council Treaty #3
Chief Melvin Hardy: Northern Superior Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief, Anishinabek Nation
Kevin Eshkawkogan: CEO of Indigenous Tourism Ontario
Alan Spacek: Chair of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
Charles Cirtwill: President and CEO of the Northern Policy Institute
Ron Bumstead: Owner, Bumstead Trucking
Establishing a task force was one of more than 60 actions set out in Connecting the North: A Draft Transportation Plan for Northern Ontario.
The task force includes representation from Northern mayors, Indigenous Chiefs and other business and transportation leaders from across the North.
The province says additional members may be added to the task force at a later date.