THUNDER BAY -- Howard Hampton is getting into federal politics.
The former Provincial NDP leader announced Friday morning that he's seeking the nomination for the federal NDP in Kenora.
Hampton, currently special advisor on the Ring of Fire to federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, said he wants to see positive things happen in the region.
"The Conservatives under Stephen Harper have not been kind to Northwestern Ontario," he said.
"Look at the sorry record of the Harper Conservatives who spend more money on advertisements to promote themselves than they do investing in Northwestern Ontario's economy."
Hampton said he announced his decision in Thunder Bay as he was in the city this week meeting with First Nations leader.
"I did that because many of the First Nations leaders are the people who have encouraged me most strongly to run," he said.
First Nations people across the region are frustrated with lack of consultation to the slow progress in the Ring of Fire. Hampton said First Nations need a federal partner.
"I have never seen First Nations voters so motivated to vote as I see now," he said.
He thinks the NDP nomination in Kenora will be contested, something he welcomes.
“I think that’s a good thing. I think that indicates the excitement that’s growing around the NDP," he said.
Hampton led the provincial NDP until 2009.
You can read the full NDP-issued media release below
Hampton to seek the NDP nomination for Kenora
Thunder Bay - Howard Hampton announced today he will run for the NDP nomination for the federal riding of Kenora in the upcoming election.
“I’m excited to announce today that I will be seeking the NDP candidacy for the Kenora riding in the upcoming federal election,” said Hampton. “Whether it was as a provincial cabinet minister, MPP, NDP Leader, or Special Advisor to Tom Mulcair, I’ve proudly stood up and fought for the people of Northwestern Ontario for over 20 years. I hope to earn the support of the NDP members in the riding to run as their candidate.”
As Tom Mulcair's Special Advisor for The Ring of Fire, Hampton said Northwestern Ontario's economy has suffered badly under the Harper Conservatives.
"Thousands of good jobs have been lost across Northwestern Ontario since the election of the Harper Conservatives," Hampton said.
"They spend public money on advertising promoting themselves, but have done little to create jobs and a better future for our communities."
Hampton's priority is to build good working relations with First Nations across Northwestern Ontario and create new opportunities and good, sustainable jobs in the process.
"If we want to see new jobs in the mining, forestry, and tourism sectors, working cooperatively with First Nations is absolutely necessary.
The Harper Conservatives are incapable of building those respectful and cooperative relationships," said Hampton. "If I become the successful candidate, I know that with my experience, and Tom Mulcair's leadership, we can succeed where the Harper Conservatives have failed."
Hampton will spend the next few weeks talking and listening to people across Kenora Riding to garner support for the NDP nomination.