Focus on Northern Ontario
Nate has made northern Ontario a priority, with 8 different tours of northern communities since he started touring. As leader, he will continue to make northern Ontario a priority.
“We need to rebuild an active political presence in northern communities and to make sure our policies meet the unique needs of northern Ontario. Too many times, I’ve heard a sentiment of feeling ignored and forgotten, that policies developed in the south don’t work for the north.” – Nate Erskine-Smith
As an MP, Nate has earned a reputation for speaking his mind on behalf of his community, working across party lines, and acting with integrity. As leader, he will empower local communities by empowering MPPs to speak their minds.
Nate’s Promise to Northern Ontario
One’s postal code should not be a barrier to a family health team, quality public education, or economic opportunity. Here are some of the commitments Nate has made to northern Ontario. As we make additional announcements on education, the economy, and healthcare, we will update this page.
1.Supporting Good Jobs and
- Support northern municipalities with new and increased infrastructure investment in roads, broadband, and affordable housing.
- Advance the economic opportunity in critical minerals and supply chains by investing in R&D and expediting the permitting and regulatory approvals process, in partnership with Indigenous communities.
- Leverage northern Ontario as a destination that is affordable with employment opportunities, including through secondary and post-secondary programs, and with incentives to attract and retain workers in sectors facing labour shortages, including healthcare and the skilled trades.
- Ensure that the local communities where resources are extracted receive a fair share of the taxes generated from that resource revenue.
2.Making Life More Affordable
- Deliver more affordable and reliable energy by accelerating the Clean Home Heating Program and investing in distributed energy resources.
- Implement an ambitious housing plan that will include new investments to enable DSSABs and municipalities to develop community based housing alternatives and to fund capital projects for non-profit housing.
- Support affordable and reliable transportation, including expanding highways (ex. four-laning highway 69) and improving maintenance, rapidly building EV charging infrastructure, and developing an integrated housing and transit strategy for the 9 northern communities served by public transit.
- Increase the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.
3.Investing in a Public, Accessible and Resilient Healthcare System.
- Improve wages and working conditions for frontline healthcare workers.
- Develop and adequately fund a Northern and Rural health-care strategy to address workforce retention and ER closures.
- Expand access to family health teams, mental health and addictions professionals, and virtual care options.
- Treat addiction as the public health issue it is, and support the expansion of harm reduction and treatment.
- Increase admissions at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and provide more tuition subsidies for students committed to staying in the North long-term and increase tuition subsidies and rebates for students who set up their practice in underserved regions for up to 5 years.
- Enhance the Northern Health Travel Grant.
- Strengthen seniors’ care, including home, hospice and community care options alongside the quality of care in long-term care homes.
4.Working in Partnership with Indigenous Communities.
- Deliver economic reconciliation by strengthening the Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program to enable Indigenous communities to better develop and acquire equity stakes in energy projects.
- Legislate an UNDRIP framework to advance reconciliation.
- Support and fund urban Indigenous service organizations.
- Improve the provincial curriculum on Canada’s history, including the positive contributions that Indigenous Peoples have made in shaping that history as well as the legacy of injustice of the residential school system.
5.Bring World-Class Public Education to Northern Ontario
- Deliver the best facilities for our kids by funding necessary repairs and upgrades, ensuring access to high-quality internet, proper air conditioning and filtration, expanding green retrofits, and keeping schools accessible to rural and northern communities.
- We will support creative solutions like community hubs, focus on joint-use school planning, and ensure rural and northern communities do not lose access to essential public education services.
- Level the playing field for northern institutions by recognizing the high costs of delivery and increasing government grants.