Lise Vaugeois threw her hat into the face for the NDP Thunder Bay – Superior North candidacy.
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Lise Vaugeois is challenging Andrew Foulds for the NDP nomination for Thunder Bay – Superior North.
The 56-year-old political rookie announced that she would be running against the Current River city councillor Friday morning. The winner will then take on Liberal incumbent Michael Gravelle if a provincial election is called.
Originally from the Hamilton, Ont. area, Vaugeois moved to the city in 1992 to play with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. She, along with her partner, Maureen Ford, decided to make Thunder Bay her home.
Vaugeois has worked as an educator at Lakehead University and is a self-employed musician and artistic educator.
She believes it’s important for a functioning democracy to have the public engaged. She said the most pressing issues are tackling both the federal and provincial governments push to privatize public services.
“I think this is misguided, public services shouldn’t be run on business models,” she said.
“They’re in the public interest they’re not there to generate profit.”
Vaugeois also wants to improve relationships with First Nations by honouring their land and the treaties they signed. She said she doesn’t think there will be prosperity in the region unless those issues are addressed.
Everything needs to be in place especially with big projects such as the Ring of Fire development starting up soon, she said.
“I would like to see the companies that are interested in coming in demonstrate their ability for respectful partnerships and work with the environment and do their business that doesn’t leave terrible destruction,” she said.
“What I’m particularly concerned about is the degradation of water sources in Aboriginal communities. I would like those companies to show that they are worthy of being partners.”
Unlike Foulds, who she praised as a hard worker, Vaugeois said she comes from grassroots activism for the past 35 years and brings a unique perspective. She added that she hopes the grassroots approach will resonate with voters.
Maurice Grinstead, president of the Thunder Bay – Superior North riding association for the NDP, said it’s always exciting when there’s a race and good the membership.
“I’m personally really thrilled about it,” he said. “The race gets the political juices going. When there’s a race people really want to be involved.”
With the likelihood of an election looming, Grinstead said it’s important to have a candidate ready and already accused Liberals Gravelle and MPP Bill Mauro (Thunder Bay – Atikokan) of being in campaign mode.
He said the NPD can’t sit on its hands.
“We have to be ready as a riding association,” he said.
“The party decided as of Jan.1 that we could look for people. There’s a long, fairly convoluted process. We didn’t ask for one. We’ve had two people come forward. When you have a minority government, the whole thing can come down by the seams very quickly.”
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