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NDP would make FedNor a standalone, regional economic development agency

Nadia Verrelli, who is running in Sudbury, also says the party would support the search for minerals needed for emerging renewable energy technologies

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The Star invited the major candidates running in Sudbury and Nickel Belt for the Sept. 20 federal election to respond to five campaign issues posed by the newspaper. Today, Nadia Verrelli, who is running for the NDP in Sudbury, responds.

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Q: What would you do to support Laurentian University and its formerly affiliated schools (University of Sudbury, Thornloe University and Huntingdon University)?

A: We will provide support and funding to an autonomous, francophone University of Sudbury, fight to rebuild Laurentian University after the Liberals allowed it to be gutted, and support all Northern Ontario universities. Reform the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to make sure it can’t be used this way ever again, and work with the community to protect the trails and green space around Laurentian.

Q: What would you do to create new, sustainable jobs in the Sudbury area?

As part of our Plan for Northern Ontario, we will:

  1. Ensure that FedNor is fully established as a standalone, regional economic development agency, focused on creating good jobs, developing the region for the long-term, and supporting community economic development.
  2. Invest in value-added Canadian wood products, funding for forestry innovation and reforestation to continue to create jobs in one of Northern Ontario’s most important sectors.
  3. Defend Canadian workers in trade negotiations, including standing up against unfair tariffs against lumber.
  4. Launch a Canadian Climate Bank to boost investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and low-carbon technology across the country, as well as made-in-Canada manufacturing of renewable energy components and technologies.
  5. Help college and university graduates stay in Northern Ontario by connecting them to careers in a diversified Northern economy to ensure the ongoing health and vibrancy of Northern communities.

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Q: How would you support Sudbury’s mining sector?

A: We will:

  1. Ensure that FedNor is fully established as a standalone, regional economic development agency, focused on creating good jobs, developing the region for the long-term, and supporting community economic development.
  2. Guarantee that good jobs, training, apprenticeship and support for local business are part of every infrastructure project and require all infrastructure projects to prioritize steel, lumber, minerals and other materials from Canada.
  3. Boost supports for those searching for minerals that are needed for emerging renewable energy technologies.

Q: How would you help Sudbury cope with its opioids crisis?

A: We will declare a public health emergency and commit to working with all levels of government, health experts and Canadians to end the criminalization and stigma of drug addiction, so that people struggling with addiction can get the help they need without fear of arrest, while getting tough on the real criminals – those who traffic in and profit from illegal drugs.

We’ll work with the provinces and health professionals to create a safe supply of medically regulated alternatives to toxic street drugs, support overdose prevention sites and expand access to treatment on demand for people struggling with addiction.

We will also launch an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fueling the opioid crisis, and seek meaningful financial compensation from them for the public costs of this crisis.

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Q: Other than the issues already mentioned, if elected, what are your top three priorities for Sudbury?

A: We would:

– Declare internet services an essential service, while putting a cap on internet and cellphone plans to lower the average cost for families in the North by $1,000 per year.

– Make housing and rentals affordable by building quality units and boosting construction while providing immediate relief to families with help of up to $5,000 a year.

– Make universal health care truly universal by providing pharmacare and dental care and investing in mental health care.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @SudburyStar

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