Volume 96, Issue 2

Thursday, May 30, 2002
 
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NEWS

Butting out

Western rich in research

Southern kids winners, northern kids losers

Faculty Association and university set to clash

-SATIRE-

And the teaching Oscar goes to...

The North: not Ontario's favourite child

News Briefs

The North: not Ontario's favourite child

Raspberry Beret
Kelly Marcella
News Editor

I can't say I'm surprised.

As a native of the scenic northern half of this province, it often becomes glaringly obvious that on most political and economic maps, Ontario ends just north of Barrie.

While former Ontario Premier Mike Harris brought much needed attention to his Nipissing riding, the vast expanses of the north continue to remain neglected and exploited by southern politicians and industrialists.

Sadly enough, the only ones concerned are those native northerners fighting to preserve the sanctity of their homes and the survival of their businesses.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep the younger segment of the population in Ontario's north when northern universities and colleges continue to come up short in their share of government funding. Students, myself included, more often than not decide to move south to obtain prestigious degrees and lucrative employment opportunities unavailable back home.

This is a trend not only present in the education sector, but something that transcends into all areas of northern life. Six month waiting lists for routine doctor's appointments and doctors unable to accept new patients come as a direct result of the lack of funding in our health care sector. To make matters worse, travel costs continue to plague patients - many are forced to seek care in southern hospitals.

It doesn't end there. Devoted northerners continue to fight to preserve their environment. It took numerous petitions, protests and a court injunction to keep opponents off the railway tracks before defeating Toronto's attempt to fill an abandoned mine with their garbage, which would contaminate soil and ground water for miles around.

It seems as though the south refuses to accept the fact that the north really doesn't want their garbage. Recently, attempts have been made to send toxic waste to the same location. We don't want the garbage - what makes them think we would accept this proposal?

What seems to be forgotten in this is that without the mining, lumber and pulp and paper industries of the north, southern Ontario would not be the economic powerhouse it is today. While millions of dollars have poured out of these industries, investments into the northern economy have been minimal.

Even though Northern Ontarians lack the economic and political clout of their southern counterparts, it shouldn't expose us to exploitation.




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Copyright The Gazette 2002