Why Should Thunder Bay-Atikokan Matter in Doug Ford’s New Cabinet

Premier Doug Ford at Heddle Shipyards
Premier Doug Ford at Heddle Shipyards

THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Ontario Premier Doug Ford has an ambitious agenda when it comes to Northern Ontario. The Premier has staked a claim on getting the Ring of Fire going, and on moving Ontario into the lead in North America in electric cars.

As the Premier works through building his new cabinet, he is going to have lots of political timber to consider. One of the solid planks that Ford should be considering is newly elected MPP Kevin Holland in Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

During a campaign stop in Thunder Bay at the start of the election campaign Premier Ford said that he didn’t know the name of our two MPPs. He said he needed representation from Thunder Bay.

Well, now he has it. Kevin Holland basically shocked the political insider world in winning in Thunder Bay-Atikokan. The Progressive Conservatives have not had an MPP from either Thunder Bay riding since 1987.

It has been 35 years since a Progressive Conservative was elected in the Lakehead.

That alone merits a first look, but once you dig a little deeper, that is where there is a lot of experience that the new cabinet will be needing.

Holland has been the Mayor of the Township of Conmee, and has over 30 years of experience as an elected member of Council.

During his time, Holland has served on multiple boards and most recently served as the First Vice-Chair of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) and as a board member of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association.

Holland also serves as a Director for the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards, Chair of the Ontario Provincial Police/Lakehead Police Services Board, Chair of the Conmee Non-Profit Housing Corporation, and as Vice-Chair of the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board.

When we look at the issues facing our region of Ontario, Holland brings a wide-swath of experience that Premier Ford needs to consider.

Holland is also the Operations Manager of Holland Enterprises, a family-owned business that specializes in the manufacturing of custom emergency vehicles and commercial truck bodies. Through the company, Kevin has worked with communities and businesses across Ontario.

During the last government, Kenora Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford held multiple ministerial portfolios. As Minister of Energy, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, as Indigenous Services Minister, Rickford had a heavy load to carry.

Now with two elected representatives in Western Ontario representing the North, Premier Ford can spread out that burden and appoint his newly elected MPP Kevin Holland to his cabinet.

To borrow from the Premier’s campaign… doing that would “Get it Done!”.

James Murray

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