User-agent: * Disallow: /

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Northern Policy Rocks!

Well, the North sure does have spirit! The OYL Northern Policy Parliament just finished up, and I have to say, I'm impressed with the quality of the proposals submitted. In keeping with the "Canada/Ontario 2030" theme of this year's OYL Spring Fling, we deliberated several policies that: (a) focus on improving the well-being of Canadians and Ontarians; and (b) contain a component that discusses and analyzes the policy's long term effect and viability. We discussed everything from regional economic development to water quality on reserves, from property taxation to doctor shortages. A great deal of thanks and congratulations goes out to Justin Tetreault, Northern Regional Coordinator, and Andrew Block, OYL Policy Director, for co-chairing the meeting. Thanks as well to OYLers from Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay for participating, and to our "southern" friends (aka Greg Caldwell, Jason Easton and Nick Colosimo) for offering their insights.

I ask you all: What will Canada look like in 25 years? What about Ontario, or the region in which you live? Now that you've defined your vision, what will it take to get us there? As someone who helped develop the "Canada/Ontario 2030" theme, I think this sums up its purpose. I really feel that young people need to take a more active role in policy development. In particular, we need to be more aggressive in proposing innovative, forward-thinking policies. After all, tomorrow is our time, and we should have a say in shaping it. Northern Ontario has met the challenge. I now look forward to hearing what the other regions have to offer. As we look towards the pending leadership race and the upcoming provincial and federal elections, let's all work to provide our party with the "ideas boost" it needs.