THUNDER BAY – During the last 2 days of canvassing, I had the opportunity to meet a number of people who had recently moved to Thunder Bay. They had come from far off countries like Sudan and Turkey, from places within Canada like Nova Scotia and southern Ontario and from communities closer to home like Red Rock. While their backgrounds and jobs varied, all shared a belief that they had made the right choice in coming to Thunder Bay and that their future would be a positive one.
These people remind us all that our community is a great one and that there are real opportunities in our City and our region. Even without a possible election, it is important for all of us to engage in the discussions and decisions that will shape our future. As northerners we know that “getting it right” is important.
It is sometimes easy to forget that today there are jobs in Thunder Bay for physicists as well as engineers; for researchers on the frontiers of science as well as for millwrights and ironworkers. Our port competes with Houston, Texas to deliver products to the west and Bombardier competes with Korean companies to sell around the world. The small and medium sized businesses we have known since our youth are being joined by new ones that are changing the look and feel of our communities. There is no doubt in my mind that our cities, towns and First Nations can become places of opportunity for all of our children. Meeting people who have chosen to make our City their home is a great reminder of that.
Sustainable communities require more than good jobs. Whether the issue is health care or education, we need to find solutions that will work for us in Northern Ontario. Our strength comes from our commitment to our communities. The examples I see all around Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario remind me over and over again that focussing on the possible and the positive can and will make a real difference.
I know that this note is a bit long, but at this time of year when we reflect on the past and the future, I wanted to let you know how much I believe our great potential – as a city, a region and a nation – can be realized. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Thunder Bay Superior North