Wynne has already lent her signature to plans by China-base developers to encroach on a sizable amount of what’s left of Niagara’s provincially significant wetlands. What is she going to sign away next?
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter/publisher Doug Draper
Posted November 22nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large
It’s bad enough we’ve got the regional government we have in Niagara and a Conservation Authority that, in many area citizens’ view, isn’t worth a hoot.
Now we’ve got Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne heading off on another “business mission” to, among other places, China.
All of which begs the question – what more of our natural heritage in Niagara is she going to sign away next?
Two years ago this November, Premier Wynne was on one of her missions to China where she just happened to run into a local delegation headed up by Niagara Fals Mayor Jim Diodati in Beijing where they joined representatives of a China-based development company with an affiliate here called GR Canada for the signing of a memorandum of understanding to do some residential and commercial building inside Thundering Waters Forest – close to 500 acres of green space in the southwest end of Niagara Falls that hosts significant amounts of provincially significant wetlands in the Niagara River watershed.
The line we ‘ve been given is that Wynne was only signing the document as a ‘witness’ to its approval by the Niagara Falls mayor and other parties. She was not approving it, herself.
Yet Wynne lent her signature to it just the same, and a citizens campaign to save Thundering Waters has been waged – still without any end in sight or any real guarantee that some of these precious wetlands (we are down to less than 10 per cent of what were originally here in Niagara) won’t forever be harmed or destroyed.
And why should citizens in Niagara trust Wynne and her Liberal government to protect provincially significant wetlands in our watershed when neither she nor her Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kathryn McGarry, will take any action to address the questions and concerns swirling around a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority that is supposed to be subject to a piece of provincial legislation called the Ontario Conservation Act.
Countless atempts have been made by Niagara citizens, local municipal councils, provincial members of parliament, a major public sector employees union and others to get Wynne and McGarry to act on concerns that have been rasied about the NPCA and so far, they have done nothing.
So now we have the Ontario premier flying off on another business mission to China. God help us!
Here, for the record, is the Ontario Wynne government’s media release on the latest “business mission” to China and Vietnam –
Premier Departs on Business Mission to China and Vietnam
Strengthening International Ties will Create Jobs and Opportunity in Ontario
From the Office of the Ontario Premier, November 22, 2017
Premier Kathleen Wynne will begin her third business mission to China on Friday in Beijing. Building on the success of her previous two missions to China, the Premier will showcase what Ontario has to offer as one of the best, most competitive places in the world to do business and invest.
The Premier will meet with business and political leaders in Beijing before travelling with Ontario business and academic delegates to Nanjing, Chongqing and Shenzhen. While in China, the Premier, joined by Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade, will focus on further bolstering Ontario’s strong trade and innovation partnerships and identifying new opportunities for collaboration.
After a stop in Hong Kong for business and political meetings, the Premier will travel with Ontario delegates to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam to boost Ontario’s trade relationship with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This will be the first official visit of an Ontario Premier to Vietnam, making this mission a key opportunity for Ontario to forge connections with business and government leaders and diversify Ontario’s trade and investment relationships — a major driver of Ontario’s Global Trade Strategy.
More than ever, international trade is a vital driver of Ontario’s economy. Business missions like this one help Ontario businesses stay competitive by connecting them with international markets and sharing knowledge across borders. Expanding Ontario’s global footprint creates new jobs and investments that help workers and businesses thrive.
Attracting international investment and helping businesses compete globally is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The Premier’s business mission to China and Vietnam is from November 24 to December 6. More than 100 Ontario delegates will accompany the Premier on the mission.
- International and interprovincial exports of goods and services represent more than 50 per cent of Ontario’s GDP.
- China is Ontario’s second-largest trading partner — two-way trade grew by nearly 40 per cent over the past five years, totalling $42 billion.
- The Premier’s international missions to date have secured more than 265 agreements valued at over $4.2 billion to Ontario’s economy, creating nearly 4,000 jobs in Ontario.
- Two-way trade between Ontario and Vietnam has nearly quadrupled since 2012, reaching over $3 billion in 2016.
- Follow the Premier’s mission to China and Vietnam on Twitter.
“As Premier, I want to make sure Ontario businesses have every opportunity to remain competitive in a global, rapidly changing economy. Over the next two weeks, I look forward to working with Ontario delegates as they connect with international partners to help grow their business, create good jobs and seek new opportunities that benefit people across the province.”
— Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“Our government is committed to helping Ontario businesses achieve meaningful growth through globalization. This business mission to China and Vietnam will provide Ontario’s businesses with an opportunity to build valuable partnerships that have the potential to support long-term economic growth and spur job creation across our province. Diversification in the international marketplace and the ability to expand globally are critical for Ontario’s continued success.”
— Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade
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