THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Voting day is October 22nd. NetNewsLedger reached out to candidates for mayor. Candidates were asked four questions.
Here are the answers provided by Frank Pullia:
NETNEWSLEDGER: What would you do as Mayor of Thunder Bay to ensure the future of the jobs at the Bombardier plant here in Thunder Bay?
Frank Pullia: Bombardier’s jobs are essential to the economy of Thunder Bay and my jobs if elected as Mayor will be to protect those jobs.
- I will immediately lobby and work closely with the provincial government for an increase to the LOCAL CONTENT of transit projects.
- I will consult with Minister Greg Rickford and Minister Vic Fedeli and other MPPs to form a Northern Ontario Transportation Advisory group.
- I will meet the new Mayor elect of Toronto as well as Premier Doug Ford and the Minister of Transportation to renew our Partnership with Bombardier Thunder Bay.
I am committed to being the champion to Protect Bombardier’s Thunder Bay Jobs.
NetNewsLedger: What specifically can done to change the paradigm in Thunder Bay and make our community safer?
Frank Pullia: My Stance for a Stronger and Safer Community
Our citizens need to feel safe in their homes and anywhere around our city and I am committed to work closely with our Police Services on fighting crime and to ensure that the social determinants of health get the attention they need for a stronger and safer community that leaves nobody behind.
I have already brought together community experts at my town hall meetings to discuss and move towards innovative solutions.
As Mayor, I would immediately:
- Establish a task force on crime and community safety
- Fully engage local services for a stronger collaboration
- Work with other Mayors, in particular with the Mayor of Toronto and Ottawa on a common front to fight the influx of gangs in our cities
- Call for reforms of the legal system to ensure that stricter penalties for crimes related to drugs, gangs and guns are applied
- Call on the Province and the Feds for more mental health services, addiction and detox centres for long-term rehabilitation
I remain firmly committed in making our city a safer place for all by continuing to provide our protective services the resources that they need.
NETNEWSLEDGER: As Mayor what will you do to make Thunder Bay a truly inclusive community?
FRANK PULLIA: People are not born racist, therefore it comes from ignorance, from social influences including that of family and friends, and fear by a negative narrative in the media and social media channels that tends to magnify problems and underrepresent positive outcomes that are already occurring across our city (i.e. the historical agreement by most of the largest institutions in the city on combatting systemic racism within their organizations).
The greatest opportunity to combat racism then is in better informing people about the positive contribution to our community and way of life being made by Indigenous people and those of other races.
We need to own the narrative and not let others define who we are. That is what I mean when I say that my reason in running for Mayor is to help Thunder Bay become the kind of city we can all be proud of calling home.
We need to build on our strengths while we work on our weaknesses. We need to give people hope for a brighter future and not be afraid to tackle the difficult and complex issues of the social determinants of health and the catastrophic multi-generational impact of residential schools. I was married to an Indigenous lady whose mother was a residential school survivors and witnessed first-hand the impact of such trauma that even strong and educated people carry with them for a lifetime. I am committed in making our city a stronger and safer community for all and help develop the kind of social environment that leaves nobody behind.
NETNEWSLEDGER: How as Mayor will you work with the Ford Government to make sure Thunder Bay’s needs are heard, and addressed?
Frank Pullia: My answer to the question on how the Mayor can best help with Bombardier’s jobs highlights the need for a Pan Northern approach that engages all MPPs from Northern Ontario to best represent the interests of our city and region.
Not having any party affiliations actually puts me at an advantage vis-à-vis other candidates who are from opposing party lines of the current PC Provincial Government.
Over the years I have also developed excellent relations with all orders of government and worked closely on many regional job creation projects like the Regional Economic Plan.
In terms of background and experience, my work as a Budget Coordinator for the Ontario Hydro Northwestern Ontario Region and a Financial Analyst for Kimberly Clark Terrace Bay Mill has given me invaluable insight in the industries that form the back bone of our regional economy, and will be an invaluable resource when dealing with the new provincial government for funding and investments in infrastructure.