History - NOP

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The Northern Ontario Heritage Party is a provincial political party in Ontario, Canada, that was formed in 1977 to campaign for provincial status for Northern Ontario. No member was ever elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.  The party disbanded in 1985, and remained inactive until being revived and re-registered by Elections Ontario in 2010.

The party's founder, Ed Deibel of North Bay, travelled Northern Ontario in the late 1960s and early 1970s to promote the idea of creating a separate province, and to sign up supporters for the party.

The party later dropped the idea of a separate province from its platform, and continued to promote Northern Ontario's interests within Ontario.

Origins of the party

The NOHP had its roots in the April 1973 provincial budget, in which the Government of Ontario proposed to extend the seven per cent provincial sales tax to heating and electricity. Deibel notified the local media that he would go to jail before paying the tax. This led to a meeting of about 500 people, and the formation of a tax repeal committee chaired by Deibel. The committee collected 24,000 signatures from all over Northern Ontario on a petition, and the government ultimately withdrew the proposal.

On May 16, 1973, Deibel formed a committee to discuss this idea, and began research about Northern Ontario’s problems. Deibel travelled Northern Ontario recruiting 600 members for the new province committee, and obtaining 6,000 signatures on a petition requesting that a vote be given to Northern Ontario on the question of forming a new province.

In October 1974, Deibel pitched a tent at Queen's Park, site of Ontario’s legislative assembly, for three days, and gave interviews to the media. This led to a half-hour private meeting with Premier William Davis, who refused to allow a plebiscite.

In the spring of 1975, Deibel wrote to Premier Davis, offering to abandon the new province committee if the government met seven demands:

Establish a Northern Ontario Development Commission with citizens from Northern Ontario.
A program paid for by the province to eliminate municipal taxes for ten years for all new manufacturing plants that complete at least 80 per cent of finished form.
Non-renewable resources to have a depletion tax deposited in a trust fund designed for that area when the project in finished.
At least 50 per cent of all natural resources to be processed and manufactured in Northern Ontario.
A billion-dollar catch-up program to provide serviced land for housing industrial parks and social needs.
Appointment of a provincial cabinet minister with full responsibility for mining.
Lakehead University and Laurentian University would receive funding for a continuing program of research and development that assures a better quality of life in Northern Ontario.
The Ontario government responded to the offer, noting that "Northern Ontario... is strengthened by being an integral part of a very broadly based provincial economy." The government’s response addressed each of the demands, but accepted none of them.

Deibel replied with a demand for the Premier’s resignation, and on September 17, 1976, began to collect the 10,000 signatures necessary to register a new political party. The Northern Ontario Heritage Party was given official certification in October 1977, with 10,600 signatures. The provincial government subsequently created the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines in 1977.

Party Board changed the name to Northern Ontario Party (NOP).

Edward Deibel retired as party Leader but with new appointment of Board he accepted the role of Party President.

Trevor Holliday was appointed as leader, Andy Wolff retained Cheif Financial Officer, Claudette Stewart appointed Secretary, Brenda McLennan appointed Fundraising & Donation Coordinator, Tommy Lee appointed Vice President.

Most recent addition to the board was Myles Clayton as the Interim Party Media & Social Media Manager

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