High on Matichuk's to-do list is pushing to find ways to get the Ring of Fire back on track.
“Northern Ontario is going to drive the province’s economy over the next generation,” Matichuk said in a news release.
“It’s essential that the province recognize this and prepare for this development boom.” “Northern deposits, such as the Ring of Fire, have the potential to create enormous wealth for the entire province, and create new communities just as Sudbury was founded more than 125 years ago.”
Northern leaders will discuss the need for sustainable infrastructure funding in the region, long-term sustainable funding for municipalities and addressing the long-term need for skilled labour and immigrants to drive the Northern Ontario economy.
The forum was born out of the Northern Priorities Paper, drafted by the North’s five largest cities and presented at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa in August, which highlighted the need for a renewed and more strategic relationship between the cities and the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne, Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle, Economic Development, Trade and Employment Minister Eric Hoskins, and Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Glen Murray are all on hand for the event.
Matichuk, North Bay Mayor Al McDonald, Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Debbie Amaroso, Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren, and Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs (who collectively form the the Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayor’s group) represent the North's biggest cities.