THUNDER BAY – Politics –I was honoured to be chosen recently the NDP candidate for the Thunder Bay Superior North riding in the next provincial election.
The riding of Thunder Bay Superior North is much more than just Thunder Bay, so my first trip as the NDP nominee to the region was to Nipigon a week after the nomination meeting. Charlie Faust and Bonnie Satten had organized a full schedule. We started by main-streeting in the down town. It struck me how friendly and willing to talk people were. Jobs was clearly the number one issue with healthcare, EMS services, housing and youth issues making up the bulk of the feedback.
Touring Thunder Bay Superior North
After meeting dozens of people downtown we travelled up the road to Lake Helen reserve where I had the chance to sit down with an elder in the community and hear first hand some of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I was inspired by the passion, commitment and hope this elder had but he was very clear, Education, jobs and support services are needed.
He also reminded me of how well Jack Stokes had represented the area years ago and how Mr. Stokes took the time to learn and listen and to fight with all his might for all his constituents.
Next we were off to the Tim Horton’s where a number of people were waiting to chat about a variety of topics. I was lucky enough to talk with a local councilor about some of the municipal issues that face the community. Like many other communities across this province economic development, infrastructure, water and water treatment and housing were the main issues. One key message that was emphasized was the cost of infrastructure and the cost of building facilities is much more expensive in smaller communities and therefore it is often difficult to find contractors willing to do the work at a reasonable and affordable price.
We finished off the day with a tour of Nipigon. The highlight was the visit to the Paddle by the Sea monument and park and the interpretive tableaus all the way to the marina. I also visited the industrial lands where the old multi-ply facility used to stand.
I really enjoyed the day. I met many new great people. I heard how much the people of Nipigon loved where they lived and how much they want to stay and are determined to have a vibrant community. Northwestern Ontario is a truly great place to live, but it can be better.
We have witnessed 9 years of Liberal mismanagement and disrespect for the North. They ignored the forestry crisis, wasted money on eHealth, Ornge Air Ambulance and are jeopardizing our energy security and economic future with the closing of the Thunder Bay Generating station.
We deserve better. We deserve thoughtful and competent management. We deserve a vision for the North that includes economic prosperity and includes social and environmental justice.
I hope that I can meet many more of you and hear your stories. I hope I can earn your trust and respect. I am hopeful I can earn your vote in the next provincial election.
NDP Candidate, Thunder Bay Superior North
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