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14 2011

On The Road Again: AgendaCamp Niagara

Syndicated from: Steve Paikin

 First it was Dalton McGuinty's backyard in Ottawa.   Then we visited Andrea Horwath's home turf in Hamilton.    And now: the Niagara Region, where PC leader Tim Hudak finds his home base.    The Agenda is on the road again, hearing the stories that come out of the Niagara Region.    The region starts at Highway 20 on the eastern boundary of Hamilton and goes all the way east to Niagara Falls. There are 12 municipalities, the biggest of which are Welland, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls. They've got 120 local politicians minding the store.    But given that most of what we hear out of this region focuses on wineries, tourism, and casinos, I was surprised to hear that the Niagara Region has the second highest unemployment rate of any region in the province --- almost 10%.  And youth unemployment, they say, is over 20%.    So we've gathered for another AgendaCamp to kick around some ideas for improving things in the region.    One thing they're very excited about down here: the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, which should bring considerable tourism to the area.    They've got the only two surviving North American forts from the War of 1812 that bombarded each other: Fort George on our side of The Falls, and Fort Niagara on the American side.    Interesting, though, that we've also heard some groanings about the amount of tourism this region gets. Apparently, not all the locals are enamoured with what tourists do to their way of life here. Maybe a reference to the traffic the casino gets?    Anyway, good crowd here today. Follow our proceedings on  And then again on TVO tomorrow (Monday) night for the live broadcast at 8 pm.     

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