News Local

Premier Wynne pleased to return to Cobourg

By PETE FISHER, Northumberland Today

COBOURG - 

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made an unannounced stop in Cobourg on Thursday while walking through the annual Sidewalk Sale and speaking to a number of people and their children.

Wynne was accompanied by Northumberland-Quinte MPP Lou Rinaldi (who will run for the Liberals in the new riding of Northumberland-Peterborough South in next year’s provincial election), Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier and DBIA Chair Adam Bureau.

During her walk, Wynne said King Street was “one of the most vibrant main streets in Ontario.

“I love this town,” she added. “I think it’s beautiful and it’s a pleasure to be back.”

Wynne said she wanted to speak with people, especially small business owners during her stop.

A few of the items that were brought up while speaking to people were electricity prices and the minimum wage increase.

“We know as we implement the changes, particularly around minimum wage, that we need to work with small businesses to help them through that transition,” Wynne said.

“People understand that minimum wage has to go up. That $11.40 is not enough for people to make ends meet so we just have to find a way to move forward with everybody together.”

The high level waters of Lake Ontario are also a concern for the premier.

Wynne indicated that the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry along with the Minister of Environment Chris Ballard will be looking into it and have conversations with affected municipalities.

“We need to make sure that in these specific instances that conversation happens. If there is remediation that needs to happen, we need to know,” she said. “I think the longer term is we have to look at adaptive infrastructure. The climate is changing, weather events are changing and so we need to look at those patterns and make sure we are working with municipalities so when there is infrastructure built, when there are changes that we do it in the right way for the weather that might be coming at us.

Wynne said at this stage she isn’t sure whether the high water is natural or caused by man-made events.

“I’m not a scientist and I can’t tell you that,” she said. “We have no guarantees about weather right now. The fact is that it’s unpredictable and it’s more unpredictable than in the past. We need to look at what has happened. Figure out what’s the cause and how we need to deal with it.”

Rinaldi added, “we really don’t know what the impact has been or will be and how long. So I think as we discover where we really are, I think governments of all levels will have to step up to the plate and see what we can do.”

pfisher@postmedia.com