NDP leader visits Manitoulin Island, tours Green Country 103 radio station

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Craig and Kelly Timmermans discuss solar panels with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Carol Hughes during a recent trip to Little Current.

LITTLE CURRENT—Canada’s only off-grid radio station, 103 Country in Little Current, has garnered a lot of attention in recent months. First, the Slovak Ambassador stopped by for a tour during Haweater, and now, most recently, NDP federal leader Jagmeet Singh visited when he was on a tour of communities in northern Ontario.

Mr. Singh was impressed with the radio station as owners Craig and KT Timmermans showed him around the station’s facilities and on a tour of Flatrock Entertainment’s grounds on Harbor Vue Road.

“I was previously vacationing on Manitoulin Island with my brother,” said Mr. Singh. “I was very impressed by the number of small businesses that were successful.” The NDP leader cited the green radio station, kombucha and mushroom farms, and two breweries as examples of Northern Ontario’s ingenuity.

In addition to touring island businesses and meeting people on the streets, Mr. Singh dedicated time to meet with local First Nations leaders. What he found were many of the same living expenses found in the southern part of the province, such as: B. housing and the escalating cost of housing and fuel, but found that many of these challenges are exacerbated in reserve communities.

“For us, people come first,” he said of the NDP’s approach to tackling these issues, noting his party’s success in forcing the Liberal government to introduce a range of policies and programs aimed at tackling the problem To help the most vulnerable in these challenging times. notably the recently announced doubling of the GST reduction to $600, the first phase of a national dental care plan, and an increase in renter housing benefits.

“We have fought hard and since the spring we have been demanding that the Liberal government step in and show people some respect, the dignity of being able to afford their own food. And we won,” said Mr Singh. “We forced this government to deliver three things. Any of these points wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t forced the government to show that respect for the people. We put money back in people’s pockets.”

“The cost of living is even higher here in the north,” he said. “We need to find ways to get more support for those who need it most – more needs to be done.”

Mr Singh pointed to how Canadians depend on their healthcare system and the deficiencies highlighted by the stresses of the pandemic. “People are really, really dependent on health services,” he said. Resolving the issues this healthcare system is facing, Mr Singh said, “I think it comes down to a different approach.”

Fundamentals of this approach include respect for Indigenous Peoples across Canada.

Mr Singh noted that plans to reduce the number of seats in Northern Ontario are counterintuitive to ensure the voices of Indigenous communities are heard in Parliament.

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