Whereas Hershey Canada has announced the closure of its Smiths Falls Plant, putting 500 people out of work, and;
Whereas the McGuinty government has announced that it will close the Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls as of 2009 putting another 800-plus people out of work, and;
Whereas these closures will result in additional job losses at local suppliers to Hershey (such as dairy farms), local tourism operators and all local businesses, and;
Whereas the 9,200 residents of Smiths Falls will be devastated by these 1,300-plus job losses;
We the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
**That the Government of Ontario continue to work with Hershey to reverse the decision to close the Smiths Falls plant,
**That the Government of Ontario immediately fund infrastructure projects in Smiths Falls like the hospital redevelopment in order to attract new industry,
**That the Government of Ontario complete the four-laning of Highway 7 and the reconstruction of Highway 15 at an accelerated pace,
**That the Government of Ontario postpone the closure of Rideau Regional Centre at least until it has replaced the 800 jobs with an equal number of new public sector jobs,
**That the Government of Ontario create a fund equivalent to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to attract investment to Eastern Ontario.
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