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 Bill Mauro:
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?
Bill Mauro: In 1995, the provincial Conservative government announced that they would not be funding the purchase of mass transit vehicles in Ontario. The cities of Toronto and Ottawa purchase mass transit vehicles in Ontario. They rely on funding from Provincial and Federal levels of Government to be able to afford these purchases. In 2003, the Liberal government, once elected in Ontario began providing financial assistance to Toronto in the Billions of dollars. Employment levels, which had dipped as low as 250 in 2003 increased to as high as 1500. I fought for and achieved a Canadian Content policy that ensured that work related to these contracts would occur in Ontario. Some of the contracts I lobbied for had not been budgeted for in Ontario. To see this plant continue to thrive, we will need to see the provincial assistance continue and the City of Toronto continue, as the purchaser, to honour and support the Canadian content policies in place and to negotiate future contracts with Bombardier Thunder Bay. The Mayor will have to work with both the Premier on funding and the Mayor of Toronto on Canadian Content to see this work continue here.
NETNEWSLEDGER: What specifically can be done to change the paradigm in Thunder Bay and make our community safer?
Bill Mauro: Poverty/Homelessness and Addictions services are driving some of the crime in Thunder Bay. Support service funding in this area has increased over the last number of years, primarily through increase funding for our District Social Services Administration Board. Clearly, there is more work to be done and increasing assistance from both the Federal and Provincial governments is required. There is an acute and immediate issue of criminal activity that needs our attention now. We must do what we can to support our police service directly in any way that we can and to ensure that community-based organizations are fully engaged. I have released three planks in my platform on crime that I would act on in the short term to try and impact our current crime levels.
NETNEWSLEDGER: As Mayor what will you do to make Thunder Bay a truly inclusive community?
Bill Mauro: As a leader in the community, the Mayor must provide a strong and clear voice in opposition when racism and hate crimes occur in our community. Racist attitudes cannot be allowed to become normalized and seen as acceptable. We all have a responsibility to oppose these attitudes at every turn. Education is key to changing attitudes and perceptions. I believe positive change is already occurring and that those among us with an inclusive positive approach will prevail. Current city efforts through the anti-racism committee and respect campaign provide a path forward to continue our work as a Corporation.
NETNEWSLEDGER: How as Mayor will you work with the Ford Government to make sure Thunder Bay’s needs are heard and addressed?
Bill Mauro: My experience over 15 years in Queen’s Park and relationships in Toronto and in Ottawa with the Federal Liberal government put me in a good position to represent our interests. Ontario has 444 municipalities. We are all fighting for the same supports from senior levels of government. As a Mayor you need to know how to compete and fight for your community and to position yourself positively compared to other cities. Advocacy is critical and my 21 years of experience (6 as Northwood ward councillor) positions me well to represent our interests.