By Frank Giorno
A month into this journey we call 2018 and the shock waves have started already with the sudden and expected resignation of Patrick Brown, the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives due to allegations of sexual misdeeds.
Ontario PC Party racked by resignations
Browns resignation was followed within days by the resignation of Ontario PC Party President, Rick Dykstra, also for alleged sexual misconduct dating back to his time as a Federal MP in 2014.
Northern Ontario’s Vic Fedelli from North Bay (Nipissing Riding) has been named the interim leader until a party convention can be convened only months prior to the June 7 provincial elections. The date for the leadership convention has been set for March 24th. Fedeli said he will not run for the leadership and so far, only Doug Ford, the brother of the controversial former Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford has announced his candidacy.
The holding of a leadership convention only three months before the June election date is something the likes of which Ontario has not seen before. Rarely have political parties held leadership campaigns that close to a vote.
Two new Northern Ontario Ridings
For Northern Ontario, the 2018 provincial election will see the addition of two new ridings increasing the total to 13 from 11. Mushkegowuk Riding will be carved out of the northern half of old Timmins- James Bay Riding. A new, largely urban-based Timmins riding will be created in the area around Timmins. The new riding of Kiiwetinoong will be created in the northern part of Kenora-Rainy River Riding which will continue to exist in the area around the Kenora and Rainy River area.
There is much happening during 2018 in Northern Ontario business, cultural, entertainment and sports.
Six Northern Ontario athletes going to Winter Olympics in South Korea
2018 will see the Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea February 9–25.
Canada promises to once again be among the medal leaders and will participate in 14 sports fielding a total of 225 athletics including 6 from Northern Ontario.
The six are: Meagan Duhamel, from Lively, Ontario and Eric Radford, her partner from Balmertown, Ontario (in the Red Lake District) in pairs figure skating.
Tyler Nicholson, competing in snowboarding, hails from North Bay, while Haley Irwin of Team Canada’s, women’s hockey is from Thunder Bay
Rebecca Johnston, another Team Canada women’s hockey team member is from Sudbury and Emma Lunder, biathlon team member, lived in Timmins during her youth and that is where she learned to cross-country ski.
Summer Music Festivals
Moving to the summer, 2018 promises to be another year of exciting music festivals in Ontario North, with many like Timmins’ 2nd annual Stars and Thunder taking place over the Canada Day Week.
This year the week-long festivity will be headlined by Bryan Adams. Other big names include Burton Cummings and the Beach Boys. A total of 25 acts have been booked and tickets are on sale.
Of course, the Thunder Bay Blues Fest will again be held in July as will the Go North Festival on Richards Landing on St. Joseph’s Island. The Porquois Blues Festival will be held near Iroquois Falls. Festivals will also take place in Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and North Bay.
Municipal Elections, October 22, 2018
Moving to the fall, 2018 is also the year for municipal elections in Northern Ontario and across Ontario. Municipal Election Day will be held on October 22, 2018. The ONE will be following the developments in the municipal elections across Northern Ontario in the key hub cities like Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins. And other major communities like Kenora, Dryden, Wawa, Geraldton, Chapleau, the North Channel Communities, Temiskaming Shores, Cobalt, Kirkland Lake, Kapuskasing and Hearst.
100 year anniversary of the end of World War 1
On November 11, Canada, the United States and countries in Europe will honor the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. The signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany on November 11, 1918, brought an end to what was believed to be the ” War to End All Wars”. It was a deadly, four-year affair which ultimately failed to end wars but whose peace terms would ignite and even deadlier World War Two only twenty years later.
Communities across Northern Ontario and the local legions will be observing this important anniversary that will provide added meaning to the annual observations of Remembrance Day.
The Ring of Fire mining development
Map of Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire. Appears courtesy of Ministry of Northern Development and MinesOn the business side, all eyes will be on signs of progress for the development of the Ring of Fire in the James Bay Lowlands of Northwestern Ontario. The provincial government is committed to building an all-year-round road sometime in 2018 to enable companies like Noront to open mining operations in a track of land that has been referred to as Canada’s next big natural resources project on the scales of the Alberta Tar sands project.
Noront is the most advanced of the several companies conducting exploration in the area which is rich in chromium, nickel and other minerals. Noront will shortly announce its location for a smelter for its minerals. Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins are in the running.
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