May 19, 2014 1:39 pm

Hudak would repeal Far North Act, open development of mineral-rich areas

WATCH: Speaking to reporters Monday, PC leader Tim Hudak said he would repeal the Far North Act in order to allow more development in Ontario’s mineral-rich north, accusing the act of having a “downtown Toronto viewpoint” of the province’s north.

TORONTO – Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak says he wants to open up development in Ontario’s mineral-rich north by repealing the province’s Far North Act.

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At a press conference Monday morning, Hudak decried the legislation, which was signed into law under former Ontario Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty.

“When it comes to Northern Ontario, one of the rules and regulations the Liberals brought in basically bans development in Ontario’s north,  and we believe that’s wrong.”

The Far North Act, which was passed into law in 2010, states its purpose is to “provide for community based land use planning in the Far North.

The Act specifically cites a joint planning process between First Nations and the Ontario government.

WATCH: A video description of Ontario’s Far North (Credit: Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources)

However, Hudak says he spoke with northern stakeholders, including First Nations groups, and said he believes repealing the act would lead to job growth in the region.

He also took a jab at what he called the Liberal’s “Toronto viewpoint” of the north.

“Basically the Far North Act has this ‘downtown Toronto’ viewpoint of Northern Ontario,” he said.

“There’s this viewpoint that the north is this giant park, and they want to freeze it in time.”

Hudak said although he still believes in having protected areas, developing the province’s rich mineral deposits will spur job creation.

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