THUNDER BAY – POLITICS 2.0 – Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford completed a Northwestern Ontario tour, with his third visit to Thunder Bay with a campaign rally at the Da Vinci Centre in Thunder Bay. Speaking to a standing room only crowd, Ford outlined his plan for the audience. Ford had earlier in the day spoke at the NOMA meeting in Kenora and opened the campaign offices for Greg Rickford running in Kenora Riding and Brandon Postuma in Thunder Bay Atikokan.
Thunder Bay Atikokan candidate Brandon Postuma introduced Ford, telling the audience that “Ford loves the North”.
“Why would you ever want to be a politician?” asked Brandon Postuma. Sharing a story, Postuma told a capacity crowd at The DaVinci Centre in Thunder Bay that it is because he believes that what is needed is “a message of hope”.
Postuma talked about how a growing issue at the doors is “Senior poverty”. “These people have worked their whole lives and they sit at home choosing between food and power, sitting with the lights out, not having cable tv, and having tough choices”.
“This is not the kind of Ontario we dreamed of, we can do better. We can be fiscally responsible so we can be socially responsible. We need leaders who will listen to us!”
“We need policy specific to the north, Doug Ford’s ears are open, he listens to me, we are going to have an open ear listening to what we need in the north”.
Entering the room to a standing ovation on his third trip to Thunder Bay, Ford told the audience “I love the north”.
Ford’s speech was very well received by the partisan crowd.
“We are going to get rid of the aviation fuel tax,” stated Ford. “I don’t believe that living in the far north is a luxury”.
“We are going to bring the Northlander back to the North”.
“I’ve driven the north, it is dangerous – white-knuckle driving – and from Kenora to Winnipeg on the two-lane highway twenty-nine people have died.”
We will put 15,000 long-term care bed in the first five years, and another 15.000 long-term care beds into the system. What this will do is alleviate the hallway healthcare and we are going to listen to the voices of nurses and the voices of the doctors.
Ford told the audience to loud applause, “What drives me crazy is that Kathleen Wynne thinks she is smarter than all the people.”
“I know that Northern municipalities, families, and businesses feel like they are being taken for granted,” said Ford. “Things are getting more expensive, life is getting harder and harder and it’s getting tougher to get by. People are looking for change — but they are not just looking for any change — they are also looking for help and they are looking for hope. My message to them is that help is on the way.”
Ford shared additional details from his plan that will make life more affordable for Northern Ontario families while ensuring that Northern communities are treated with respect. These commitments include:
- Developing Northern Resources, including the Ring of Fire.
- Moving forward with resource revenue sharing from mining, forestry, and aggregates to help Northern towns and Indigenous communities share in resource development
- Ensuring hunting and fishing revenues go toward their stated purpose of conservation
- Cutting the aviation fuel tax for the North to reduce the cost of living in the North and,
- Bringing back passenger rail service to the North
“Unlike Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals, our plan is both reasonable and responsible,” said Ford. “And most importantly, our plan is honest. We’re going to respect you and we’re going to work with you. On June 8th, I look forward to joining a team of dedicated and talented Northern Ontario MPPs to deliver the kind of change that the people of Northern Ontario deserve.”
Ford asked the audience to make sure they bring out friends to get to the polls and vote.