Miller, Clement highlight 2013 priorities
Stephannie Johnson/North Star
Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Norm Miller, left, chats with McKellar Reeve Peter Hopkins and his wife Joyce during his annual New Year’s levee co-hosted with MP Tony Clement, Saturday afternoon.
PARRY SOUND - Water levels and job creation are at the forefront of the minds of Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement and MPP Norm Miller in 2013.
On Saturday afternoon Clement and Miller hosted their annual New Year’s levee inside Wellington’s Pub & Grill, with about 50 members of the public and local dignitaries. Jobs and the economy are top of the priority list, said Miller.
“You look across the province now and there are some challenges and we don’t escape from that,” he said. “We have 500,000 people unemployed in the province right now, certainly our party sees that as a top priority. As the opposition we’ve been working putting together proposals that we think will help turn the province around.”
Miller said with a minority parliament there’ s a certain amount of uncertainty that comes with his position.
“I have to plan for an election because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Of course we’re hoping to form the government and be able to change direction of the province a bit and deliver some positive change, but for me, it’s funny in this job from year to year, you just never know what’s going to be going on - this year especially, because there’s so many different things that could happen,” he said.
Miller said he’s especially excited about the birth of his first grandchild early next month.
Clement noted the new businesses in the Parry Sound area in 2012, and hoped to continue that momentum in 2013.
“2012 was a great year for Parry Sound-Muskoka, particularly in this area, Parry Sound,” Clement said.
“In terms of new jobs, new opportunities, I look at Eagle Aircraft coming in, I look at Outpost Media - these are all new companies located in Parry Sound, generating jobs,” said Clement. “Part of the task for 2013 is to continue that very great progress we’ve made on job creation and economic development throughout Parry Sound and Muskoka.”
The lower water levels in Georgian Bay are among challenges on the horizon for the start of 2013, Clement said.
“I took a leadership role, the last half of last year, meeting with the Environment Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister and meeting with the International Joint Commission (IJC) to press for remedial action suggestions on how we can stem the reduction in water levels,” he said. “The IJC is going to be coming out with a report within the next several weeks and I look forward to that and to that being considered by both the U.S. government and the government of Canada. I know that’s an issue that’s top of mind with many people in the Georgian Bay area.
“We’ll continue on other fronts as well, obviously First Nations is one of them, but there’s also keeping our streets safe and making sure we expand our markets and making sure we continue to train people so that they’re ready for the jobs of tomorrow, those will all continue to be priorities in the area.”