VISTA Radio – Moose 99.3FM CJJM – Espanola Morning Host and News Anchor, Rosalind Russell had an exclusive interview with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who visited Manitoulin Island on November 28th, 2020 to attend the funeral of Manitoulin OPP Constable Marc Hovingh.
The rest of his interview is provided here.
Ford admits he is aware of the challenges facing Legions, other organizations and about small businesses. He is also aware that Internet connectivity is a problem up here (in the North) and virtual learning has been difficult for our children, but he feels the programs are working well in the province.
“I think they’re working well, but there’s always room for improvement and again, I think the biggest infrastructure we can do is providing Internet connectivity to everyone in Ontario and we’re spending a billion dollars to do it. We can fix roads, we can always fix roads, but connecting people to the Internet changes people’s lives, changes the kid’s lives, changes businesses’ lives. It is a priority because it can actually connect to the rest of the world and you can learn so much, so that is our number one priority.
“All I’m asking is the federal government, were getting along extremely well, the Prime Minister is doing a good job, but during his election he said he was going to connect all of Canada. We are asking for money … we’re putting up a billion dollars, so we need the federal government to step up to the plate.”
Ford had also sent a video congratulatory message to Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on the opening of their new factory on Thursday, November 26th. The new factory is producing 1-million masks of various sizes and medical capability with 50 new jobs created in the process.
“I’m just so proud of them and I want to thank them,” enthused Ford. “It’s amazing when everyone works together and we see this with the pandemic. When we called out for help for people to make masks, everyone jumped in there and a new industry started. We’re just so grateful for everyone’s help and I can’t wait maybe at a later date when I go visit that facility.”
Russell also asked Ford about critics who questioned his traveling to the Island with the COVID-19 restrictions in place.
“There are two kinds of premiers. One can sit in their office and do nothing, or the other who is out there talking to people and responding to their concerns. I believe in being a visible premier. Ontario is vast and I look forward to continuing to see more of this province.”
The Premier also says he will be focusing on the distribution of the vaccine(s) in his discussions with Prime Minister Trudeau and his fellow premiers.
“I am pleased that retired General Rick Hillier will be heading up the Vaccine Distribution Task Force – he will get the job done. But, I do want to know the specifics; where, when, and how. That will be the focus of upcoming talks over the next short while.”
Ford concluded his interview by adding he plans to come up and visit the North more often in the future. He also extended a thank you to all the communities and organizations whom have shown support to the Hovingh family and their police family as well.