THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Steven Del Duca has announced a northern Ontario platform that includes expanding the Trans-Canada highway to four lanes across its entire length.
Del Duca’s Ontario North Action Plan, announced Jan. 7, also calls for the establishment of an Ontario Rural Growth Strategy, which would create community economic development credits and opportunity zones in rural communities throughout northern Ontario.
Del Duca served in the Liberal government as minister of transportation and as minister of economic development and growth.
The leadership election will be held March 7. The other candidates are Michael Coteau, Mitzie Hunter, Kate Graham, Brenda Hollingsworth and Alvin Tedjo.
Del Duca’s plan for the Trans-Canada would require a long-term partnership with the federal government in which both jurisdictions would cover 50 per cent of the cost.
He also said he would support projects that promote development and electrification in the remote north, including through the establishment of a dedicated community infrastructure fund for northern and on-reserve communities.
Del Duca said he is committed to the full completion of the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project, to provide 17 communities in northern Ontario with access to the provincial grid.