Atikokan residents will have a chance to grill two cabinet ministers this week on the closure of the nearby coal-fired power plant.
This afternoon is the meeting. I think I will attend (well I am planning on it, that's why we came back from T-Bay this week). And now I wonder what purpose it will meet. THere are people ready to protest when the ministers arrive. THere are new signs up in store windows slamming the government. THere is little new evidence of people moving beyond the anger. And if this afternoon becomes little more than people standing up to say "You f*****g idiots, how dare you do this to us!" what gets accomplished?
There is one very valid criticism of this decision and that is the level of planning that went into it. 2 years ago the energy minister (who is attending this afternoon) gave his word that ATikokan would not lose jobs as a result of AGS closing. Since then little to nothing has been done by either the province, the Township, or the local Economic Development office to ensure that those replacement jobs are there. That is a failure on all sides. ANd that is what needs to be addressed (and you don't create 90 longlasting, high paying jobs in the time between now and the announced closure date)