Over the last week, a number of newspapers published an article written by Josh Dehaas. This freelance journalist from Toronto has stated that adding more seats to the North is going to hurt democracy by causing Torontoians votes to become diluted. He argues that the new proposed ridings in the North are smaller than most ridings in the South and thus people in these Northern ridings will have a bigger impact with their votes than people who live in Toronto.
But let’s look at the facts, Toronto has 21 ridings in a very small land area compared to the North which occupies 87 % of the land owned by Ontario and only has 11 seats. Several of these Toronto ridings are as big as a few city blocks and most, if not all the constituents in the Big Smoke can reach their MPP’s office by cab in less than 30minutes. Where as most Rural ridings in Northern Ontario can be several hundred kilometers long and will usually take the northern constituents 4 or 5 hours by car to reach their MPP’s office. Those who do not have their own transportation will never meet their MPP because the North has very little in the way of widely available, affordable public transportation.
The other point that the Northern Ontario Party takes issue with in Mr. Dehaas’s article, was the fact that he appears to try to belittle these new ridings as predominantly indigenous ridings. Shouldn’t our Indigenous populations have fair and even access to MPPs like others enjoy in Southern Ontario. Shouldn’t our Indigenous populations have a say in the policies and mandates of our provincial government? We in the Northern Ontario Party feel our First Nations should have an active voice and a say at Queens Park. The NOP will always welcome and ask for input from Our First Nation’s peoples, as we feel they have an unique and valuable insight into the North.
Trevor Holliday the Northern Ontario Party Leader states that the people of Northern Ontario are tired of not having their voices heard. Adding one or two new ridings will help Northern Ontario citizens to gain access to their MPPs, but will do little in the way of increasing their voice at Queens Park. When you have so many seats to win in Toronto, it becomes the only priority of the big 3 parties, they know if they win Toronto they win the province; There is no need for them to worry about any place else. Trevor states that is why the NOP is different, our party is just concerned with representing the people of the North. If we get elected, mark our words the North will be heard at Queens Park.
In other news, the Northern Ontario Party will be hosting their AGM this weekend at Kettle lakes provincial park from August 12 to the 14th. The AGM will also see a leadership and executive board review and vote take place among its paid members. Trevor and the NOP’s executive board prior to the AGM will host a Meet and Greet event at Hollinger Park in Timmins on August 12th from 11 am to 1pm. Members of the public are encouraged to meet with Mr. Holliday and his team to learn about the exciting gains the Northern Ontario Party has made over the last year.