Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds is joined by his wife, Kristine Hilden, and children Alex, Luke and Matthew as he announces his intentions seek the Ontario NDP’s Thunder Bay-Superior North nomination Thursday.
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Andrew Foulds is ready to move up the political ladder.
Long considered the NDP’s next great hope in Thunder Bay, the Current River city councillor on Thursday officially announced he would seek the party nomination in Thunder Bay-Superior North and challenge Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle in the next provincial election.
Foulds said he’s been approached many times, and wasn’t an easy one to make, with a wife and three school-aged children at home.
“This is a family decision,” he said. “I am so lucky I have the support of my wife (Kristine Hilden) and my boys (Alex, Luke and Matthew) here, because without them I would simply be nothing.
“I guess I’ve learned a lot over the last six years at city hall. We’ve accomplished a lot. Frankly, I want to take it to the next level. I think we fought hard at city hall. I want to fight hard at Queen’s Park.”
To date the 40-year-old Foulds is the lone candidate to put his name forward.
Thought to be a strong candidate to run federally in a riding that went to then NDP MP Bruce Hyer in the last election, Foulds, the son of former 16-year MPP Jim Foulds, said there were too many provincial issues near and dear to his heart to ignore a shot at Queen’s Park.
“Health, education, those things are important to me.”
The most pressing issue facing Thunder Bay, aside from economic development and jobs, is the energy file and the province’s plan to close the Thunder Bay Power Generating Station.
The latter has Foulds up in arms.
“First and foremost, by closing it, it sabotages our future. We need that energy. We need it for jobs. There’s 14,000 direct jobs and how many spinoff jobs? It is paramount.“
Health care struggles are equally important.
“Gridlock should not be happening at our hospital. We need to solve that problem. We have far too many people in our emergency room that shouldn’t be there. There are other places they should be that are more humane. We should not have our EMS workers in the hallway for hours. We should not have our police in the hallways for hours,” Foulds said.
“We shouldn’t have our seniors who require long-term care in our hallways or alcoves.”
The six-year city hall veteran did not say when asked if he had been personally tapped by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to seek the nomination.
Foulds said there are two clear choices for voters in the next election, Horwath or the plan laid out by Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.
He said he believes NDP values better represent Ontario’s values.
Foulds said Hudak’s Pathway to Prosperity is not the answer to push the province back toward economic prosperity.
“I think it’s a pathway, but I’m not sure it’s to prosperity.”
The Liberals certainly aren’t the answer, he said, something he’s sure the electorate will bear out the next time they’re called upon to vote.
“I think they are going to recognize the last nine years of mismanagement, and I think they’re going to recognize that mismanagement all across the province. I think Liberals are vulnerable across this province.”
Thunder Bay-Superior North NDP Riding Association vice-president Dave Noonan said the riding will hold its nomination on March 14.
“So if there is no one else contesting the nomination, at that point Andrew Foulds would be acclaimed. If there is, then we’ll have a vote to see who is the candidate,” Noonan said.
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