Thursday, 11 January, 2001

    Northern mayors consider possibility of buying ONTel

    Northern Ontario Mayors are now looking at the possibility of taking over ONTel, the telecommunications arm of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

    Mayors from Timmins, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay have requested a meeting with ONTC chairman Royal Poulin, as well as an opportunity to look into the possibility of taking over ONTel.

    If ONTC would afford us the opportunity to investigate this further . . . it would definitely be positive, Mayor Jamie Lim said.

    Lim said by meeting with Poulin and investigating this further the mayors would see if it would be a feasible move by the five major cities in Northern Ontario.

    In a media release, Lim said she and her colleagues across the North would be very persistent in their bid to obtain information on ONTCs telecommunications assets.

    Once due diligence is completed and we think that its a good business proposition, then well take the next step, she added.

    The telecommunications arm of ONTC (ONTel) is vital to the North and must be preserved, Lim said.

    The communities in Northern Ontario have viewed the efforts of ONTel as critical to the ongoing economic development efforts in the North. Telecommunications is an essential element in leveling the economic playing field for those businesses that operate out of Northern Ontario and is a key factor in attracting businesses and job creation, the five mayors wrote in a letter to Poulin last Friday.

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