The OLIP interns were thrilled to meet MPP for Nipissing and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli. Minister Fedeli has represented his riding in Queen’s Park since 2011, and since then, he has also served as Interim Leader of the Opposition and Minister of Finance. Our meeting covered topics ranging from his background in business to his vision for Ontario’s economy.
Prior to provincial politics, Minister Fedeli was a business leader and local politician in North Bay. After selling his business, Minister Fedeli successfully ran for Mayor of North Bay in 2003 on the “2020 Vision” platform – a set of policies that would set up North Bay for success by the year 2020. Minister Fedeli emphasized that each policy of the 2020 Vision considered the social, environmental, and financial consequences for North Bay. For instance, he cited the repurposing of an unused rail system in North Bay, and how freeing this land led to vibrant new developments and increased city revenue.
Minister Fedeli says he brings this holistic policy approach to his work as Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. When asked about the need to balance economic growth and action on climate change, Minister Fedeli spoke about the potential for green economic growth in the auto sector. He suggested that Ontario is the ideal place for electric vehicle manufacturing given the province’s unique economic strengths. Citing Ontario’s existing auto manufacturing capacity, wealth of natural resources, and relatively clean power grid, Minister Fedeli presented a vision for an economy that does not sacrifice growth for sustainability, or vice versa.
When asked to share some wisdom from his years in the private and public sectors, Minister Fedeli stressed the importance of perseverance, a good work ethic, and public service. Minister Fedeli extolled the motivation of helping people, expressing that such outcomes are what makes work in government so rewarding.
Minister Fedeli, thank you for taking the time to meet with us and for sharing your experiences!