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County mayor contributes to talks at Wardens’ Caucus Breakfast with MPs

breakfast-with-MPsMayor Robert Quaiff brought Prince Edward County matters to Parliament Hill Monday during the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus annual Breakfast with MPs.

Quaiff contributed to talks with several MPs in attendance, including Bay of Quinte’s Neil Ellis, and a later meeting with Navdeep Baines, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“We discussed cell gap coverage in eastern Ontario, the federal gas tax, Ontario East economic development and I was able to provide information on the Port Picton Terminals,” said Quaiff. “I must say the MPs and Minister were very interested and supportive of this endeavour.

Quaiff also took opportunity to continue discussion following the breakfast about the Port Picton Terminals project.

“What tweaked their interest was the carbon footprint reduction on our highways by trucks,” said Quaiff. “It was a very good meeting.”

Earlier this month, Quaiff pitched the multi-million dollar port project for Picton Terminals with provincial ministers.

The expansion project seeks assistance to gain $10-million to help buy cranes for loading and unloading a projected 100 ships per year – increasing the marine port’s capacity in Eastern Ontario by 20-30 per cent.

The port, near Picton’s harbour, was purchased by the Doornekamp family’s ABNA Investments company in 2014 following decades of non-use. The company has already invested an initial $10 million in a $40 million plan over the next three years.

The project was endorsed recently by the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus noting it could create a spinoff of up to 5,000 jobs for Eastern Ontario, among which, about 40 jobs could be created in the County.

The 13-member EOWC, under Warden Peter Emon of the County of Renfrew as chair and Peterborough County Warden J. Murray Jones as vice-chair has set five key priorities for the year.

1. Convincing the province, Hydro One and the major natural gas providers to urgently invest in the region’s hydroelectricity and natural gas transmission systems, to provide major industrial and commercial customers with affordable expansion opportunities and greater relief in operational costs. This will allow for the creation of new jobs as well as safeguarding many others that are
presently at risk, due to the lack of availability and exorbitant costs.

2. Working in tandem with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network to close the cellular network and mobile broadband gaps that exist in many rural Eastern
Ontario communities. This is an essential service that has become indispensable for economic development, emergency services and home-based businesses.

3. Continuing research and advocacy on the Province’s consideration for “growth planning for eastern Ontario.” The EOWC has concerns on any proposal that would limit growth and economic development opportunities in rural Eastern Ontario, particularly as numerous development controls already exist in the region and most townships bordering the City of Ottawa experience little growth.
4. Supporting the Leadership Council as it begins the implementation of key actions proposed in the Eastern Ontario Economic Development Strategy. This council,
formed in September 2015, is a financial partnership between the EOWC, the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Committee, the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, and
the Ontario East Economic Development Commission.

5. Advocating at the provincial level for an across-the-board decrease in Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) costs, namely by eliminating inefficiencies in service delivery, finding cost savings through the modernization of policing services, and using available technology to gather evidence for court and defence procedures.

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    While I support our Mayor in going to Ottawa to discuss County needs and priorities – it would be nice if he would discuss the need for the Picton Terminals with his constituents first. To date, the only information the public are receiving is through the media. Personally, I would like to know if any environmental studies have taken place re: this project and also of what the economic impact of this development could be on the harbour and surrounding homes. I don’t believe enough discussion nor investigation has taken place with this community for this project to proceed.

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