Better Quality of Life in Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario, with its beautiful landscapes, hard working people, and resilient communities, is a significant part of our province’s identity and potential. Yet Doug Ford and the Conservatives continue to neglect the region and its unique challenges. The North deserves better.

If I become Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, I will recognize the immense potential of the North. I will bring tailored solutions that foster economic growth, enhance infrastructure, connect communities, and enrich quality of life for all people in Northern Ontario.

I’ve been listening and learning from you. Here is what I’ve been hearing:

Improve quality of life by investing in healthcare, education & our communities

  • Ensure Northern communities have improved and equitable access to healthcare, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and healthcare workers.
  • Attract more students to acquire healthcare degrees and stay in Northern Ontario upon graduation by offering free tuition tied to a multi-year service agreement.
  • Build new healthcare facilities closer to home like Lake of the Woods Hospital, expanding telehealth and telemedicine services to support those in remote and underserved communities.
  • Strike a Task Force to identify and address the gaps that exist in the current structure of the Northern Ontario Travel Grant and make adequate investment in this program to ensure that residents of Northern Ontario can access care timely.
  • Prevent school closures that force students to travel long distances and provide educators with economic incentives to stay in the North.
  • Deliver targeted programs to improve retention and graduation rates in Northern schools by hiring guidance counselors to provide academic and career planning.
  • Expand opportunities for learning Indigenous history, cultures, and languages in the caring presence of Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers.
  • Expand access to Francophone education in Northern Ontario in both K-12 and postsecondary schools.
  • Invest in treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation of those struggling with opioid use and drug addictions.
  • Improve suicide prevention, mental health, and wellness programs to ensure the well-being of students.
  • Support municipal law enforcement agencies to create Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams to divert individuals in crisis from unnecessary involvement with the criminal justice system.
  • Strengthen and fund police service that Indigenous communities can trust and rely on.
  • Partner with Northern municipalities to provide local law enforcement agencies with adequate funding for recruiting and retaining personnel, and procuring modern tools and resources to act promptly against guns, gangs, auto-thefts, human and drug trafficking, and violence.

Advance sustainable economic growth

  • Unlock the potential of Northern Ontario to be the engine of our transition to a clean economy by developing the Ring of Fire and attracting new investments into mining.
  • Expedite the process of critical minerals extraction in an environmentally responsible manner and while recognizing the rights, equity, and well-being of Indigenous peoples.
  • Meaningfully involve Indigenous communities in all matters that affect their lands, resources, and rights.
  • Boost the Northern Ontario Energy Tax Credit to support families and the Northern Energy Advantage Program, recognizing the higher energy costs in Northern communities.
  • Strengthen the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund — a proud Ontario Liberal legacy — to foster, sustain and diversify Northern economic growth.
  • Support Northern Ontario’s advanced manufacturing, clean steel, agriculture, tourism, forestry, logging, mining, arts, and culture industries to create jobs, ensure equitable resource-sharing with Indigenous and Northern communities.
  • Address the labour shortage and reduce the likelihood of repeat offense by creating training opportunities and building transition housing for those leaving the criminal justice system.
  • Enhance skilled-trades training opportunities to stop the out-migration of youth.

Enhance and expand housing, digital & transportation infrastructure

  • Widen the final 68 km of Highway 69 to 4 lanes and designate Highways 69, 11, and 17 as Class 1 Highway.
  • Enhance intercommunity connectivity through broadband and digital infrastructure enhancement.
  • Improve subsidized intercommunity bus and work collaboratively with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to expedite the implementation of the Ontario Northlander passenger rail service, enhancing regional transportation networks.
  • Install new charging stations for electric vehicles along highways and in urban areas to allow residents and tourists to recharge their vehicles.
  • Address the labour shortage in the North, reducing the cost of construction and getting more homes built faster.
  • Lower the regulatory burden that makes housing unaffordable.
  • Invest in developing climate-resilient infrastructure and maintaining existing ones in a state of good repair to establish a strong, reliable, and weather-proof supply chain; and to allow businesses in Northern Ontario to be able to transport goods rapidly, safely, and reliably.

This shared vision is about more than just policies and investments. It is about respect, understanding, and true partnership with Indigenous communities, local residents and leaders, and stakeholders. With Bonnie as Ontario Liberal Party Leader, Northern Ontario will be an active participant in decision-making processes, ensuring that its voice is not only heard but instrumental in shaping its future.

I continue to travel the province and want to hear from you. Do you have an idea? Email us.