Thunder Bay Political Battle Looms
THUNDER BAY – Bill Mauro has represented Thunder Bay Atikokan in Queens Park since 2003. The ten year political veteran has faced some close races in recent years. In 2007 Mauro’s margin of victory was a fifty votes over NDP challenger John Rafferty. That margin grew to 452 votes in 2011 over NDP challenger Mary Kozorys.
The New Democrat race for Thunder Bay Atikokan has been a quiet one. Most figured Kozorys would be the candidate. However that has changed. Madge Richardson, the Executive Director of the North Superior Workforce Planning Board has joined the race. The New Democrats have not announced the date of their nomination meeting.
The Progressive Conservative candidate is Harold Wilson, the former president of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.
There is a new wrinkle to the campaign that could impact the election in Thunder Bay.
Fort William First Nation has vowed that the First Nation will be working to rally the Aboriginal vote in the city.
That move has been triggered by the controversy over the Big Thunder Wind Farm. There are likely 500 voters eligible on Fort William First Nation. The move has been panned by some who suggest that Aboriginal groups simply don’t vote.
The Aboriginal population in Thunder Bay represents about seventeen per cent of the population. A great number of the population is young. That is the same age demographic who have formed Idle No More across Canada.
The race to the next provincial election is expected to ramp up over coming months. Speaking to NetNewsLedger, Harold Wilson stated that he expects the call to the polls will come in the spring. Wilson asserts that Premier Wynne’s government will bring down a budget in the spring.
Thunder Bay Atikokan has been a tight political race for the last two elections, the next election promises to be another race to watch in Ontario.